01 December 2011

Backroom Deals

This past Monday, after hearing the plight of students for never-ending tuition hikes and their outrage at the trampling of their constitutional rights at Berkeley, Davis and elsewhere, the Regents of the University of California promptly reconvened to a separate, smaller room for the non-public portion of their meeting, where they provided yet another resplendent  example of their vision, leadership, and courage in steering the UC ship in these stormy waters.

Once outside of public scrutiny, the Regents promptly proceeded to approve 9.9% pay raises for three vice-chancellors (UCLA, UCI, UCSF) as well as for a number of university lawyers. But the lottery winner was indisputably UC Davis general counsel Steven Drown who got a whopping 21.9% salary raise (only UCDMC chief operating officer got a bigger raise, but medical center employees' salaries benefit from the revenue the bring to the University). Mr Drown was noted during the recent "events" at UC Davis for his very visible absence while the students' first amendment rights were being covered in orange pepper spray.

In the meantime, it looks like a section of UC Davis faculty, mostly from the sciences and engineering, have launched Operation SCA ("Save the Chancellor's Ass"). One is reminded of not too distant proceedings at Irvine, when Chancellor Drake hired, fired, and re-hired Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinski, all in the same week. UCI science and medical faculty also rose en masse to save Drake's ass, quite possibly in return for Drake's saving their asses when the Medical School was selling body parts and fertilized human eggs on the black market.


  1. I think your assessment of the UC Davis faculty signing the letter in support of Katehi as being "mostly from the sciences and engineering" is a bit unfair. A word search immediately shows that *not a single physicist* and only one mathematician (and a retired one at that) signed that letter. There is a number of Chemistry professors on the list (16), true, but look at the number of a number of law and economics professors - 26 and 9 accordingly - and these are hardly scientists (notwithstanding any misgivings about the scientific value of their discipline that economists may harbour).
    So how about "life sciences, engineering and law"? Sounds like a far fairer assessment to me?
    One should probably question what favours did Katehi trade to those specific departments to get such an outpouring of support...

  2. Thanks for pointing that out, Anon. "Life sciences, engineering and law" it is.