Report 2006-103 Highlights - May 2006
University of California:
Stricter Oversight and Greater Transparency Are Needed to Improve Its Compensation Practices
Our review of the compensation practices of the University of California (university) revealed the following:
- The Corporate Personnel System (CPS) used by the university's Office of the President (president's office) to track the pay activity of university campuses contains inconsistencies and overly vague categories that did not allow us to determine the reliability of various compensation and funding source classifications contained within it and that limit its usefulness as an oversight tool.
- Despite these problems, the CPS is the most detailed and complete centrally maintained source of information, and in fiscal year 2004-05 it reflects that university employees earned approximately $9.3 billion—comprised of $8.9 billion in regular pay and $334 million in additional compensation.
- The president's office appears to regularly grant exceptions to university compensation policy. In a sample of 100 highly paid university employees, 17 benefited from an exception to compensation policy.
- Appendix A presents the compensation, exceptions to policy, and additional employment inducements received by a sample of 100 highly compensated university employees.
- Some university campuses circumvented or violated university policy, resulting in a $130,000 overpayment to an employee and improper increases to others' retirement-covered compensation.
- The university did not consistently disclose its officers' nonsalary compensation, such as housing allowances, to the Board of Regents as required by policy.