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UC Plan to Deal With Pay Concerns Detailed

New steps will include ethics training, better tracking of data and easier public access to information on executive compensation.

April 18, 2006|Stuart Silverstein | Times Staff Writer

Responding to a report critical of the ways the University of California handles executive compensation, UC President Robert C. Dynes on Monday announced several measures to begin overhauling its practices.

Dynes, in a news release, said he heard "loud and clear" the message of a task force report issued Thursday rebuking UC for long-standing inadequate oversight of pay and perks.

The task force report followed criticism over the last six months from legislators, professors and the public after news reports that the university system had given millions in bonuses, housing allowances and other perks in recent years to top administrators, even as it raised student fees and cut other costs. Three audits examining UC's practices are due out over the next several weeks.

Dynes said Monday that UC would launch efforts to make compensation information more available to the public by, among other things, posting material on a website and appointing a specialist to handle Public Records Act requests.

He pledged to step up accountability and assigned UC Senior Vice President Bruce B. Darling to serve as a liaison to the Board of Regents on compensation matters. Dynes also said UC would pay for ethics training, including instruction on whistle-blower programs and anti-retaliation policies, for all employees and that the university system would invest in an improved computer information system to be able to more quickly examine compensation data.

Former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg, co-chairman of the nine-member task force that issued the critical report, called Dynes' announced measures "a great step in the right direction."

"There are a number of suggestions from our task force report that he's taken to heart and it looks like he's going to implement," he said.

State Sen. Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria), vice chairman of the Senate Education Committee, was somewhat less impressed.

"The road to restoring the people's trust in the UC system begins with bold leadership and accountability," Maldonado said in a news release. "While today's announcement is a step in the right direction, leadership from President Dynes' office has been long overdue."

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