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Munitz Returning to Cal State as Teacher, Fundraiser

A faculty union leader criticizes appointment of the controversial ex-Getty Trust chief.

April 29, 2006|Stuart Silverstein | Times Staff Writer

Barry Munitz, who quit as chief executive of the J. Paul Getty Trust in February amid controversy about his leadership and spending, is returning to the California State University system as a teacher and fundraiser at Cal State Los Angeles.

University officials announced Friday that Munitz, 64, chancellor of the 23-campus system from 1991 to 1998, will hold the title of trustee professor. Along with teaching and administrative assignments, he will help raise money for a new center, the Institute for Urban School Leadership and the Integrated Sciences Complex, which is under construction.

Officials at the Long Beach headquarters of the Cal State system said Munitz was exercising his right to come back under a program available to top administrators hired between 1981 and 1992.

In an April 19 letter to Cal State Chancellor Charles Reed, Munitz told the university that he would return from his "leave of absence" and move into the tenured faculty position set aside for him at Cal State Los Angeles' English department.

Munitz's return, effective today, drew immediate criticism from a faculty union leader.

Lillian Taiz, a history professor at Cal State Los Angeles and president of the campus' chapter of the California Faculty Assn., said she was "absolutely flabbergasted that this is regarded as an appropriate appointment." She questioned whether "someone who has been through the kinds of scandals he's been through at the Getty is an appropriate role model for our students."

Munitz said that the controversy at the nonprofit Getty, including a state attorney general's investigation into whether he improperly used the trust's resources for his personal benefit, would not interfere with his work at the school.

"My passion and my background has been for education for all of my working life," said Munitz, who holds a doctorate in comparative literature from Princeton. "I've had a professional life of chapters, and this is the next chapter for me."

University officials said Reed and Cal State Los Angeles President James Rosser were unavailable for interviews. In a news release, Rosser noted Munitz's "long association" with the university system and added, "I welcome him back."

Munitz's pay and perks will be a far cry from his compensation at the Getty Trust, which operates the Getty Museum and the Getty Villa.

Cal State officials said he will earn a transitional salary of $163,776 during his first year as a trustee professor. Thereafter he will be entitled to the top-of-the-scale annual salary for a full professor, currently $112,548.

Jackie McClain, the Cal State system's vice chancellor for human resources, said Munitz also will be entitled annually to $2,500 in travel funds, $200 in supplies and half-time assistance from a clerical employee.

As the chief executive at the Getty, Munitz earned more than $1.2 million in 2004. The nonprofit also paid for dozens of trips for him and his wife, Anne.

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