A high-ranking University of California official who was the architect of controversial pay and benefits packages for university executives will receive a full year's salary of $181,640 while working only part time for the next 12 months, according to an announcement Wednesday.
The retirement arrangement for Ronald W. Brady, UC senior vice president for administration, is sure to provoke criticism from UC faculty and students who are feeling stung by pay cuts and fee hikes during the budget crisis.
Brady is to leave his current office, which he has held for a decade, July 1. Under a commitment made to him by former UC President David P. Gardner, Brady will take a one-year administrative leave with pay and will work part-time to help UC implement its new contracts managing three national energy and weapons laboratories for the federal government, according to a UC spokesman.
In what appeared to be an attempt to soften any outcry about his paid leave, Brady said he will not seek the $230,000 in deferred compensation for which he might become eligible during the upcoming year. Brady designed those complicated deferred compensation packages in what he once conceded was an effort to avoid legislative scrutiny. The UC regents moved last year to phase out those additional compensations and add much of the money to above-board salaries.
The regents had earlier stirred controversy when they made Gardner eligible for more than $800,000 in deferred compensation he would otherwise have forfeited. The move produced a firestorm of criticism in the Legislature and led to reforms.
UC spokesman Ron Kolb said that current system President Jack W. Peltason realizes that some people may question granting a paid leave to someone who designed benefits packages that the university is now revoking. But Kolb said Peltason believed Gardner's commitment to Brady should be kept even though Peltason will seek approval from the full UC Board of Regents for any future paid leaves for top officials.
Brady will also receive more than $22,500 in severance pay and retirement benefits during his year's leave.
In a prepared statement Wednesday, Peltason said: "Dr. Brady has served the university admirably over the past decade, a time of exceptional growth and increased operational complexity for the institution." Brady, who was UC's chief negotiator for the renewed federal laboratory contracts, will be "indispensable" in starting out the five-year pacts.
Brady also attracted controversy earlier this year when San Francisco officials alleged that his friendship with a developer was influencing the possible relocation of UC San Francisco laboratories to the developer's industrial park near Oakland. Brady denied the accusations.
Kolb said Wednesday that it is not standard policy to grant administrative paid leaves to retiring officials, although it has been done in several recent cases. For example, former UC San Francisco Chancellor Julius Krevans was given a similar arrangement, keeping his $242,300 salary for a year while he works part time on technology and patent issues for the university.
Meanwhile, Peltason has nominated V. Wayne Kennedy, who has been vice chancellor for administration at UC San Diego, to be Brady's successor. Pending the expected regents approval later this month, Kennedy would be paid $187,500 a year. In the post, Kennedy, 55, will help oversee an annual budget of nearly $9.5 billion.