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UC regents approve controversial pay hikes, urge campuses to adopt admissions change

January 20, 2011 |  4:20 pm

University of California regents on Thursday urged all nine undergraduate UC campuses to adopt an admissions review system that looks at an applicant’s grades, test scores and life experience as a whole rather than ranking various application parts separately. UC Berkeley and UCLA already use the method, called holistic review, in making admissions decisions and the regents want it extended across the university system. Although some critics say it is too subjective, UC administrators say the method is more thorough and fair than the university's more traditional way of choosing applicants.

As they wrapped up their meeting in San Diego, the regents also awarded controversial, 10% pay raises to three financial managers in the UC president’s office whose salaries after the increases will range from $216,370 to $247,500. Officials defended the one-time raises as a way to save money in the long run; chief risk officer Grace Crickette; Dan Sampson, assistant vice president for financial services and controls; and Sandra Kim, executive director of capital markets finance, had contracts that called for annual bonuses even while UC was eliminating such bonus plans. Their contracts were renegoiated for the one-time raise with no bonuses or future raises planned, according to Peter J. Taylor, UC’s executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Unions criticized the decisions, calling such raises for executives unseemly at a time when low-wage UC employees face increased costs for pension and retirement health plans and a state budget crisis threatens large scale layoffs across the university.

-- Larry Gordon