Davis Faculty Association

Archive for December, 2012

New chief lawyer at UCD: an open letter to the Chancellor from the Davis Faculty Association

The following letter was sent today from Davis Faculty Association Chair Scott Shershow to UCD Chancellor Linda Katehi:


Chancellor Linda Katehi
Fifth floor, Mrak Hall
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

via e-mail

Dear Chancellor Katehi:

I write on behalf of the board of the Davis Faculty Association to ask for more information about your recent decision, announced in a press release of December 7, 2012, to hire a new top-level attorney in the Office of Campus Counsel.  Your stated rationale for this position is that “we need additional expertise and experience in negotiating research and service agreements with a diverse business community, broader experience dealing with a variety of increasingly complex political entities and additional resources to advise on the myriad legal decisions confronting a university of this size and stature.”  We find this description to be rather vague and not very informative; and we are now requesting more details as to why such a position is necessary.

As you know very well, our university has faced years of budget cuts that have seriously affected our academic mission.  Your press release speaks of the “lean staffing” of the  Office of Campus Counsel.  Yet many of our academic departments are also very leanly staffed at the moment, both in clerical staff and even faculty.  Many academic departments have lost top faculty members, and today face hiring freezes that make it increasingly difficult to teach their classes and maintain their curricular standards.  Many faculty, including in my own department, no longer even have telephones in their offices, as a way of reducing administrative costs.  It’s thus quite difficult to understand why, in such a climate, you are choosing to hire a new senior administrator who will obviously need to be very highly paid, and whose work will have little or nothing to do with educating our students.

We would thus like to request from you a more detailed rationale for this new position than has yet been provided, and also an estimate of approximately what salary you expect will be required for it.  We would appreciate receiving this information at your earliest possible convenience.  We intend to share this letter and your reply with our membership and with the faculty at large.


Scott C. Shershow, Chair
Davis Faculty Association

cc: Ralph Hexter, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
The faculty of the University of California at Davis

NY Times article about the growing disparity between faculty and administrator pay

This recent New York Times article points out that the disparity between salaries are growing both between institutions and between faculty and administrators. Here’s an excerpt:

“In 2010, the 10 top-earning presidents made, on average, 4.4 times what a typical president earned. A decade earlier, that ratio was 3 times. And just as in corporate America, those who preside over these institutions have done far better than those who populate the armies that labor below them. Over the decade that ended June 30, 2010, average faculty salaries at the 50 wealthiest universities rose by 14 percent, while that of presidents increased by 75 percent.”

The full article is available at:


LAO report on UC faculty pay

The Legislative Analyst’s Office released a report today “University of California Faculty Recruiting and Retention.”

This report challenges UCOP’s findings that faculty compensation is lagging, finding instead that UC’s average salary (apx. $120,000 — excludes health sciences and law) is ahead of the four public schools in the comparison eight (apx. $110,000), but lags the four private schools in the comparison eight (apx. $160,000).

The one paragraph synopsis of the report is:

In this report, we assess UC’s ability to recruit and retain tenured and tenure-track faculty. We find that (1) UC has been hiring candidates who have received their highest degree from some of the most selective universities in the nation, (2) UC has a long history of hiring its top choice faculty candidates, (3) most new entry-level faculty stay at UC long enough to earn tenure, (4) less than 2 percent of faculty resign from UC each year, and (5) UC’s faculty compensation is competitive with other top universities. These findings indicate that UC generally has been successful in its faculty recruitment and retention efforts. In light of these findings, coupled with the continuing need to prioritize limited state funding, the Legislature will need to assess the relative trade-offs between providing funding for faculty salary increases and other competing budget priorities involving faculty and higher education more generally.

The full report is available at:

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