uc.jpgThe Chronicle reports today that The U.C Board of Regents has approved pay raises, stipends and benefits for more than two dozen executives. Delightful if you’re one of the 24, appalling if you’re anyone else.

The stipends come on the heel of the UC Board of Regents decision to cut $813 million from the school’s budget (from non-executive line-items, at least). These budget cuts would include furloughs, layoffs, class cuts, the elimination of library and other essential services, and increased tuition. The only thing they won’t include is a price freeze on executive salaries.

Barbara French, UCSF spokeswoman, argued that executives receiving the raises have taken on increased duties and deserve to be compensated. Other proponents of the stipends add that without these pay increases, executive salaries would not be competitive with private institutions, causing the top executive talent to pursue more profitable employment.

If any of that sounds familiar, it’s because it is the same argument used by former Bush press secretary Dana Perrino, Rush Limbaugh, and numerous other fair minded critics to defend AIG’s similar display of avarice in March of this year.

But wouldn’t cutting faculty positions and decreasing salaries force talented professors to seek employment elsewhere? And wouldn’t increasing tuition, decreasing services, and ultimately making it more difficult to graduate force potential students to seek enrollment at other schools? And because U.C schools might as a result have fewer services, fewer professors, and fewer students, can we surmise that executives would have fewer responsibilities?

At long last: a school that operates like a corporation.

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