UC Salaries and Administrators Grow Rapidly Despite Huge Budget Shortfalls

Even as California suffers through huge ongoing budget deficits and raises tuition at UC campuses across the state, the Orange County Register finds that salaries in the UC system have climbed by 29 percent in the last six years.

One area that seems to be recession-proof is employment in the UC system. The Register reported, “Spending on University of California salaries has climbed nearly 29 percent over the past six years, even as the public system grapples with ballooning retiree expenses that have created a long-term $24.6 billion shortfall.

“The 10-campus system paid $10.6 billion for 259,043 jobs last year, up from $8.2 billion in 2006, according to an Orange County Register analysis of the latest UC pay data. Staff numbers grew by about 6 percent over the same period, and student enrollment increased by about 10 percent.”

I argue in the Orange County Register story that while large salaries could be a problem, the larger problem is the rapid growth in school administrators in the UC system.

The real problem with UC is not the high salaries of marquee teachers and coaches, Lisa Snell told us, but the “huge evidence that the number of administrators has grown astronomically in recent years.” Snell is the director of education at the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation.

She pointed us to a study by Keep California’s Promise, a project of the Council of UC Faculty Associations. It found that, from 1994-2009, faculty rose about 33 percent, from about 6,500 to 8,669. But the number of senior managers rose 194 percent, from about 3,000 to 8,822 in the same period, a near-tripling of managers.

Indeed, the 8,822 managers in 2009 were more than the 8,669 faculty. Does every professor need his hand held in class by a manager?