The appointment of Nicholas Dirks as chancellor of Cal is a prime example of the abuse our universities continue to suffer at the hands of the UC regents. Despite (albeit weak) objections by Governor Jerry Brown, Dirks was appointed to the position with a salary increase of $50,000 over the previous chancellor. Brown cited concerns over the salary increase not fitting "within the spirit of servant leadership" that the position calls for. I think that's the understatement of the year.
Clocking in at $486,800, Dikes' base salary will not only be greater than the president's, but he will also be given an $8,916 car allowance, an annual relocation allowance of $30,425 for the next four years, residency in the chancellor's mansion taking up 2.5 acres of land, and "two round-trip flights for Dirks and his wife related to the relocation, plus the university arranges to pack and move household items and Dirks' library and equipment".
So this one man is worth a half million dollars a year, a car allowance, a free mansion, and moving expenses, while our students are expected to pay increased tuition costs in the coming years despite the passage of Measure 30. There is something obscenely wrong with this picture. If our schools are so cash-strapped that the massive cash injection coming from Measure 30 isn't enough to stave off the looming spectre of tuition increases, then why are we lavishing such luxuries on this man? That's a half million dollars of our tax payer dollars footing the bill for nearly every major expense in Dirks' life. I'd like to think that someone with a base salary of $486,800 should be able to pay for the gas in their tank and the cost of their own move.
I find it odd that everyone becomes so impassioned about passing bonds and taxes but are complicit with turning the other cheek and not questioning how the money they pay is spent. I'm not satisfied with the UC system showing zero restraint or responsibility with the money we provide to give our kids an education. Dirks is one of many people in our college system being paid more than they should given the inherent budget limitations facing our schools.
While I applaud Jerry Brown for showing his displeasure with this move, it's not enough. The schools vocally and openly talk about how underfunded they are. Impoverished institutions should not then spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on individual employees. Considering the fact that we're talking about public schools, this wasteful spending model becomes even more absurd. We need to be just as outraged and vocal about these sort of wasteful moves as we are about taxing ourselves. We need to question when people make foolish decisions with those tax dollars. The CSU and UC system will continue to flounder so long as we fail to hold the UC regents accountable for their actions.
Information quoted from contracostatimes.com story.