OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘University of California’

California’s Two Highest Paid State Employees Fired in Four-Month Span

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 25, 2013

Making a combined salary of $5 million in 2011, California’s two highest paid state employees were cut from the state payroll in the last four months.

Hired in late 2001, the state’s highest paid state employee made $2.88 million in 2011.  He was fired in November after six years of subpar performance at UC Berkeley.

Hired in early 2003, the state’s second-highest paid state employee made $2.15 million in 2011.  He was fired over the weekend after five years of declining performance at UCLA.

Little surprise, all five of the top five highest-paid state employees (from 2011, the latest year with numbers available) came from the University of California system’s payroll.  With those two gone, the highest earners from 2011 still collecting state salaries are UCLA’s Ronald Busuttil ($1.98 million), UCSF’s Anthony Azakie ($1.81 million), and UCSF’s Philip Leboit ($1.53 million).

tedfordhowlandOh, those two who were fired?  The one fired in November was Jeff Tedford, Head Coach of the Cal Football, and the one fired over the weekend was Ben Howland, Head Coach of the UCLA Men’s Basketball team.

For some of our readers, you saw this a mile away as soon as you read the headline.  For other readers, this raised your hackles at the start of this post and is still an outrage.

Back in July, I had written a post about the massive $169 million subsidies that the UC and CSU systems provide to Division I athletic programs.  This is a net cost that already accounts for all revenues provided by these athletic programs to the universities.

UCLA spent $2.59 million in subsidies to its athletic programs while UC Berkeley spent more than four times as much, with $10.51 million in subsidies to its athletic programs.

As I noted in July:

At a time of budget cuts, tuition increases, class reductions, and enrollment reductions, should UC & CSU really be spending this much money to subsidize athletics?  Aren’t athletic departments supposed to subsidize the universities, not the other way around?

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Lt. Gov. Newsom Urges UC to Abandon Hideous New Logo

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 13, 2012

Symbols of the University of California: the traditional seal (left) and the new logo (right)

You may have heard about the controversy over the new logo of the University of California.    Conceptually the logo’s supposed to be a yellow “C” inside a blue “U.”  However, the logo has been repeatedly been compared to a loading symbol on a computer or smartphone.  Some people have even compared it to a child’s drawing, a toilet, or the rear end and tail of an animal.

I, for one, am willing to declare it the most hideous logo in the history of higher education. Here.  I even spent 5 minutes creating a superior new logo for the UC system:

Nguyen Proposal for New UC Logo

My proposal for the new UC logo instead of that abomination they produced.

This week, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom wrote a letter to UC President Mark Yudof urging the university system “to return to the use of the old logo and allow the University community a cooling off period to concentrate on the long-term health of the University.”

Some of you may find it a ridiculous waste of the Lieutenant Governor’s time to delve into a controversy involving a logo.  Others may be applauding the Lieutenant Governor for finding something to do other than check on the Governor’s health.

(Now, in fairness, the Lieutenant Governor is an ex officio Regent of the University of California, so this does fall into his purview.)

Newsom notes, “tuition at the University of California has more than doubled in recent years, access is being limited and students are incurring more debt than any other time in history…Instead of being creative with the University of California logo, we should be searching for creative solutions for funding the University of California.”

I don’t agree with Gavin Newsom on much, but a broken clock is right twice a day.  With the UC screaming about budget cuts, tuition increases, and enrollment cuts, is it really the best time to be working on graphic design?

Did the passage of the Prop 30 income tax and sales tax increases leave the UC rolling in so much dough that they can waste staff time and money on graphic design? Or maybe all that money is lying around after the firing of the highest-paid state employee?  (Actually, neither of those is possible since this logo was created before November when Prop 30 passed and that employee got fired.)

How exactly does UC justify this boondoggle?

Here is Newsom's letter regarding the UC logo. (Click to enlarge.)

Here is Newsom’s letter regarding the UC logo. (Click to enlarge.)

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