The University of California approved a three- to four-percent pay scale increase for faculty and administrators, retroactive to July 2018. The increase affects tenured UC San Diego faculty and UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla.
The hikes total four percent for tenure-track and tenured faculty and three percent for “non-represented academic appointees,” including other faculty members and UC chief executives, general counselors, leaders, and chancellors.
UC President Janet Napolitano recommended the increase to keep salaries competitive with those at other schools and allow the UC system to attract and retain highly-sought faculty and administrators. A 2017 comparison released by Napolitano’s office showed that UC chancellors ranked at or near the bottom for institution leaders in the American Association of Universities.
The academic ladder at universities outlines a system for professor pay and promotion. Faculty are promoted based on merit or years served at a particular rank. The recent changes increase the base salary at each of the academic ladder ranks. For example, an assistant professor who made $60,300 under the old scale will now earn $62,700, or four percent more. Many professors earn more than the base pay for their ladder rank.
A 2017–18 survey by the American Association of University Professors indicated that full professors at UCLA earned an average base salary of $204,000, 13th highest in the nation and highest in the UC system. UCSD professors earned $171,200: 36th in the nation and fifth in the UC system. But including incentives and bonuses, UCSD’s full professors—a category that excludes assistant and associate professors—receive the highest average total compensation in the country.
UC employees’ salaries are publicly available through the system’s annual wage database. In the 2017 calendar year, the highest salaried UCSD employee was UCSD Health CEO Patty Maysent, earning $820,202 in base compensation. However, the highest paid employee overall was Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine Dr. Ehtisham Mahmud, who earned a total of $1,651,081. Health Sciences professors often receive compensation above their base salaries for patient care, research activity, and risky procedures.
Last year, the Regents approved similar three-percent salary increases for eight of the ten UC chancellors. Several chancellors also received increases in 2015 and 2016; in fact, this is the fourth straight year that Chancellor Khosla has received a raise.
Khosla now makes $462,684, up from $445,693 in 2013, his first full year as chancellor. An analysis by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) indicated that UC chancellors’ combined salaries increased by 33 percent from 2011 to 2017. Following last year’s round of raises, then-Student Regent Paul Monge voiced his concerns.
“Here we are asking students to pay more, workers to take a cut, but [we’re] willing to inflate salaries for senior administrators,” Monge told The Daily Californian. “It seems like doublespeak that we’re in tough financial times and need to raise tuition, [but] are still adding salary increases.”
Rohan Grover is an Assistant News Editor for The Triton. You can follow him @rohangro. Writer Jessika Wood also contributed to reporting.