The UC laid off more than 4,000 employees since last year, while continuing to raise select workers’ salaries by approximately $200 million dollars.
According to a UC Office of the President press release, about 3,840 of the 10-campus system’s 121,000 faculty and staff members earned more than $200,000 last year — a jump of 190 more people than were paid as much in 2008. Furthermore, at least 88 of those highly-paid UC workers are employed by UCSB.
UCSB professor Finn Kydland — who received the 2004 Nobel Prize in economics — is the campus’ highest earning employee, raking in over $400,000 a year. Chancellor Henry T. Yang trails four spots behind Kydland on the pay-scale, earning $312,494 per year.
UCOP’s Principle Budget Analyst Alan Williams said doctors typically receive the highest pay within the UC system — more than $200,000 each year — and often earn additional perks and income from their hospitals.
“Medical doctors and surgeons make up the largest group of faculty receiving salary increases,” Williams said. “These are the people doing additional research projects for their respective fields.”
Aside from maintaining the superior quality of its academic and research programs, Williams said higher salaries also serve recruitment and retention needs.
“Professors are paid about 15 percent below market,” Williams said. “We have some of the best and brightest faculties in the world and we’re having a hard time doing right by them.”
UC clinical teaching programs are also receiving more funding. Medical professors have received a $161 million raise while teaching hospitals were granted an 81 percent funding increase.
These pay hikes were made possible by a spike in student fees, a $44 million government subsidy and a $4 million grant from private donors. However, according to UCOP budget analyst Steve Montiel, it is incorrect to directly associate tuition hikes with pay increases.
“There are a lot of misperceptions and misinformation out there,” Montiel said.
Generally, Montiel said, payroll growth aspects have primarily been directed towards medical centers and schools.
“It is important to understand that the UC system is more than education activities implied in its mission,” Montiel said. “The entire system is a $21 billion-a-year operation. The medical enterprise is something that is very important in the state of California and the five UC medical centers have met the health needs of millions of individuals yearly.”
However, many students are wary of how they will personally benefit from amplified funding.
According to Alysia Dupuy, a second year economics major, in spite of newly imposed tuition hikes, it’s hard to be completely critical of salary issues.
“I knew that many students were angered by fee increases and felt that their money wasn’t going toward the right things,” Dupuy said. “But I’ve learned that the market works in weird ways and increasing wages is an important strategy our school can follow to be competitive. Not to mention the importance of maintaining strong medical programs to keep the UC’s good reputation.”