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UC Board of Regents to Investigate Pay Practices

University of California's Board of Regents is meeting this week at UC San Diego. Among the hottest topics of discussion is the need to shed more light on the University's pay practices. University officials recently came under fire for secretly paying for bonuses to its top executives. KPBS education reporter Beth Ford Roth has more.

The Regents' newly formed "Special Committee on Compensation" began its meeting by acknowledging the need for transparency into how the UC system compensates its top people. UC Regents Chairman Gerald Parsky:

Parsky: "We take this very seriously, we're not paying lip service to this area, this is extremely important and extremely important to us as Regents in fulfilling our responsibility."

Parsky says Price Waterhouse will conduct an independent audit of the compensation arrangements and departure packages of UC's top 32 management positions from 1996 to 2005 positions like president, vice-president, medical center CEOs, and lab directors. The auditors will also examine those managers' expenses by looking at their travel and entertainment reports, to make sure reimbursement was done in accordance with UC procedures.

Parsky says the state legislature is also planning its own audit of UC pay practices. He says the UC intends to cooperate fully.

Parsky: "Not only don't we object to this we welcome this, this is part of an ongoing responsibility in this area."

Regent Judith Hopkinson says she expects some significant changes will come out of the audits.

Hopkinson: "We are going to see a fairly major overhaul of policies and procedures, and that what will come out of that is a far, far better, more transparent, accountable system."

The Board of Regent's most famous memberand California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger stopped by the meeting before the discussion of pay practices. He stumped for support of his budget proposal particularly the extra funding included to freeze tuition at UC and CSU campuses next year.
Beth Ford Roth, KPBS news.

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