AN OPEN LETTER FROM UC PRESIDENT ROBERT C. DYNES December 19, 2005

NEWS UPDATE: Compensation funding breakdown cited by the SF Chronicle

Dear Friends:

Many of you may know that in recent weeks the San Francisco Chronicle has published a series of stories about pay and benefits at the University of California. These stories have questioned the compensation levels of faculty and senior administrators at the University; criticized the University for a lack of transparency in the process of setting these compensation levels; and highlighted housing, entertainment, and other expenditures which are tied to the work of the University but which understandably are questioned by many who read about them.

I have been concerned about the lack of context in the articles, including the lack of recognition that salaries for faculty and staff across the University lag those of comparable institutions by a significant margin. Today's competition for the most talented faculty and staff means that preserving the quality of the institution costs money, and this phenomenon affects not only the University of California, but all of American higher education.

I also believe, however, that the articles raise some important issues about compensation at UC that we must address in a candid, straightforward way.

I want the University of California to be competitive for the best talent anywhere, because having the best talent here helps make California great -- it confers incalculable benefits in the economy, health, and quality of life of our state. I also want the University to be accountable to the public and open to its scrutiny. We are a public institution, we are established as a public trust, and we have a responsibility to be open with the public which supports us.

At their last meeting, The Regents adopted an explicit goal of achieving market-competitive salaries for all University employee groups in the coming years, along with new accountability mechanisms providing an enhanced Regental role in the setting of senior-level salaries. We do not have the resources to address all market parity issues for our employees immediately. But I want to emphasize the commitment of the entire University leadership to addressing the compensation needs of all faculty and staff groups as aggressively as we can.

With all of these issues in mind, I want to tell you about the following actions the University is taking:

You can read more about these issues on this Web site.

I am a great believer in the University of California — in its mission, in its purpose, in its people, and in its vital contributions to our society. This is a magnificent institution that has improved the lives of literally millions of people and made a fundamental contribution to the creation of the California we know today. I am committed to sustaining the excellence of the University, to preserving and enhancing its connection with and accountability to the public, and to providing care and attention to all the members of our University family. I look forward to working with you to achieve these goals.

Sincerely,


Robert C. Dynes
President