This week we learned of the promotion of Rosemarie Rae, Chief Financial Officer, to position of Vice-Chancellor and the search for a new VC for Administration. Two Vice-Chancellors for one-but at what price? There will be a global search for a successor to long-since departed VC for Administration and Finance, Spiralist John Wilton. Who will bear the costs of outside consultants Spencer Stuart? The sum is not disclosed, but these consultants charged over $300,000 to recruit a Football Coach for Colorado State University. And who are these 1,800 staff to be directed by the new VC for Administration?
While academic units are under intensive regulation and debilitating cut-backs, who is monitoring the finances of the administration? This is the question posed by the devastating May 4th, Annual Report from CAPRA (Senate Committee on Academic Planning and Resource Allocation), which highlights the demonstrable lack of accountability in the management of our campus, and the continuing secrecy around the budget. Thus, CAPRA asks how it is that between 2010 and 2015 wages in central administration increased by 38% versus a 13% increase for academic units, during which time there has been only a 3.8% growth in student enrollment together with a 29% growth in state appropriations plus tuition (p.3). The report goes on to ask what is to be done about the ballooning $20M structural deficit of Intercollegiate Athletics and its gung-ho attitude to deficit financing.
Professor Satish Rao has made preliminary calculations that if our administrative overhead were the same as UC Santa Barbara’s we would save far more than our annual structural deficit, now estimated at $110M. Take a look at his memo. Why should the two campuses be so divergent? If academic units are going to face draconian cuts, then don’t we deserve answers to these questions? Here lies the importance of the Senate motion – postponed to the Fall – to have faculty involved in auditing the administration. Anant Sahai’s motion can be found here. We are gratified that Chancellor designate, Carol Christ, has so far shown a refreshing willingness to discuss these issues openly. Long may it last!
One more disturbing piece of news. Among the Governor’s new nominees to the Board of Regents, appears Spiralist Maria Anguiano, who recently left her position as VC for Planning and Budget at UC Riverside, where she was arch-promoter of dreaded ABC (Activities-Based Costing) that proposed to quantify every aspect of teaching. Leaving behind confusion, she spiraled into for-profit education and now spirals back onto the Board of Regents. Beware of the Spiralist!
Michael Burawoy and Celeste Langan
Co-Chairs of the BFA.