UC Davis is mentioned in a Slate piece investigating skyrocketing compensation of public university executives as an example of such excesses. Chancellor Katehi's $400,000+ yearly compensation is compared to Chancellor Mrak's 1969 compensation of $37,000 (inflation-adjusted: $226,000). Mrak's successor, Meyer, was hired in 1974 with annual compensation of $47,000 (corresponding to $214,000 when adjusted) and left in 1987 with compensation of $98,000 (which adjusts to an amount, $195,000, which is actually lower than the one is was hired at). Did we mention that Mrak and Meyer actually knew how to deal with student protests?
The cause of such excesses, at least at UC: a decision by then UC Senior Vice President Ron Brady to peg the pay of top
administrators to private sector standards, instead of to state public
servant pay (as bemoaned by Clark Kerr in a 1999 interview).