Schwarzenegger Vetoes Limits on Administrators’ Pay

by E Wayne Ross on October 13, 2009

Inside Higher Ed: Schwarzenegger Vetoes Limits on Administrators’ Pay

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunday vetoed a bill that would have barred most salary increases and bonuses for executives at the University of California and California State University systems in bad budget years, such as this one. In his veto message, the governor criticized the measure as too broad and intrusive. “A blanket prohibition limiting the flexibility for the UC and CSU to compete, both nationally and internationally, in attracting and retaining high level personnel does a disservice to those students seeking the kind of quality education that our higher education segments offer. The regents and the trustees should be prudent in managing their systems, given the difficult fiscal crisis we face as a state, but it is unnecessary for the state to micromanage their operations.” The veto drew a sharp response from Sen. Leland Yee, sponsor of the bill and a leading legislative voice for closer oversight of the university systems. Yee noted that well compensated executives have continued to receive bonuses and raises even as the university systems face unprecedented budget cuts. “It is deeply disappointing that the governor wants to ensure top executives live high on the hog while students suffer,” Yee said. “The governor’s veto is a slap in the face to all UC and CSU students and the system’s low wage workers. His veto protects the UC and CSU administration’s egregious executive