Nov 15, 2007
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
8:10 p.m. November 14, 2007
LOS ANGELES – Robert Dynes, University of California's embattled president, will receive the second-highest salary of any professor in his field when he steps down from his post and returns to the faculty at UCSD, under a proposal made public Wednesday night.
The proposal, which UC's governing board of regents will vote on Thursday in Los Angeles, sets Dynes' salary at $245,000 a year – exceeding every physicist in the 10-campus system except Nobel laureate David Gross, who earns $254,900 at UC Santa Barbara. The proposed salary surpasses that of another Santa Barbara Nobel laureate, Alan Heeger, by roughly $20,000.
The plan also calls for Dynes to first take a year of administrative leave, equivalent to a sabbatical, at his current salary of $405,000.
Dynes, 65, also will receive an annual pension of about $145,000 when he retires. He was pressured to resign in the fall, after weathering criticism over his handling of a controversy in which executives were quietly paid millions of dollars in pay and perks. He will step down as president in June, or when his replacement is found.
Provost Rory Hume, who submitted the proposal, told reporters outside the meeting at UCLA that he set the figure based on Dynes' distinguished career as a physicist. In 1990, Dynes received the Fritz London Memorial Prize, a high honor in his field of superconductivity.
“The thinking is to return President Dynes at a level commensurate with his eminence as a scholar,” Hume said.
The salary is a significant boost over the $121,200 salary Dynes earned in 1995 at UCSD, right before he joined the administration.
When asked by reporters about the proposal on Wednesday, Regent Chairman Richard Blum said the salary is appropriate considering that Dynes will be “an important player on the San Diego campus.”
“When he stepped down, he didn't want, nor did he ask for, nor will he receive any special consideration,” Blum said. “There's no golden parachute.”
In other business, regents tentatively passed an operating budget for 2008-09 after a lengthy discussion about student fees, which have soared to an average of $7,495 for in-state undergraduate students, up 88 percent from five years ago.
Regents delayed a decision on increasing student fees until they receive the governor's state budget proposal in January. The UC budget proposal calls for undergraduate fees to rise 7 percent next year if the state does not provide an extra $70.5 million in revenue.
Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, who serves as a regent by virtue of his position, said he will introduce a resolution in January to limit fee hikes to the rate of inflation.
But several regents raised concerns with the idea. They said the quality of instruction may suffer if the Legislature doesn't provide the funding and regents strip themselves of the power to raise fees.
“Historically I've been against fee increases,” said Regent Norman Pattiz, “but to ask regents to give away the leverage we have is unacceptable.”
Eleanor Yang Su: (619) 542-4564; firstname.lastname@example.org