Letter to the Editor, San
Francisco Chronicle, published May 17, 2006
Clean house at UC
Editor -- Watching UC President Bob Dynes fighting to survive this
scandal over executive compensation at the university, I am reminded of
another president, Richard Nixon, at the height of the Watergate
scandal: "I am the president. I am responsible. But I am not to blame.''
How much should a UC president or chancellor be paid? In 1992, the
faculty at Berkeley, acting through its Academic Senate, said: "It
should be the policy of any institution of higher learning that the
total compensation paid to any executive officer should not exceed
twice the average amount paid to its full professors.'' The regents
ignored that advice.
Today, it is not just the amount of money that bothers us, but the
sneaky games played by top UC officials. It is about a lack of
accountability. It is about arrogance in high places. It is about
betrayal of the public trust, without which this university cannot
survive. The failure of ethical conduct disclosed in this scandal is
located at the very top of the UC administration. There is no better
lesson in teaching ethics than to dole out deserved punishment to a
boss who has violated those principles. Are the regents up to it?