When concerns were first raised last fall about the University of California’s compensation policies and practices, I was emphatic about three things:

First, the University has a clear obligation to be open and accountable to the public.

Second, UC must stay competitive to recruit and retain the best people.

And third, the University needed an independent group to look at UC compensation policies and practices and to make recommendations on how to improve them.

I understood changes would be necessary. Chairman Parsky subsequently appointed the Task Force on UC Compensation, Accountability, and Transparency, co-chaired by former Speaker Robert Hertzberg and Regent Joanne Kozberg. Its members are drawn from the worlds of business, government, education, and the media.

I will spend the next few days reviewing the report’s findings and recommendations, but my initial reaction is this:

This honest and hard-hitting report represents a good road map for getting where we need to go in overhauling our compensation policies and practices.

I can immediately embrace a number of its recommendations, beginning with the suggestions that all relevant information about compensation packages be provided to The Regents in advance of approval and that all compensation information be disclosed to the public in a timely manner. I believe we have already begun to move in that direction.

In the coming weeks, I will develop a plan to implement additional recommendations. As some first steps, we are establishing procedures to ensure full and timely compensation disclosure. I have asked a group of experts to develop a plan for a human resources information system that will meet UC’s obligation to public accountability, beginning with senior management compensation data.

Taking these steps is important, but so is remaining competitive in the marketplace. The Task Force clearly understands this, and I am pleased that the members made a number of recommendations in that regard.

Finally, I wish to thank the Task Force members, and co-chairs Bob Hertzberg and Joanne Kozberg in particular, for the time, effort, and hard work they put into this report. In its very strong and direct findings, the Task Force demonstrated a commitment to the best interests of the University and the state, and I am grateful for that.

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The Task Force report is at