Scandal at the University of California


Inquiries by The San Francsico Chronicle have apparently led to the sudden resignation of the number two—ranking official of the University of California system, the nation's most prominent higher education system. Nobody, apparently, was minding the store when it came to examining basic conflict—of—interest issues. This is scandalous behavior on the part of a professionally managed organization paying such high salaries to administrators presumably sophisticated in issues of governance and disclosure.

U.C. Provost M.R.C. Greenwood resigned

...after the college system launched an investigation into possible favoritism in hiring.

University officials said the conflict—of—interest inquiry had been opened after The Chronicle, in the course of researching an article, posed questions about the hiring of two people with ties to Greenwood —— her son as well as a friend with whom she owned rental property.

According to UC President Robert Dynes, the university is investigating the possibility of impropriety in Greenwood's decision last year to promote her friend, UC Santa Cruz Vice Provost Lynda Goff, to jobs at UC's headquarters in Oakland. Goff, 56, was first hired as a faculty associate and then as director of UC's new science and math initiative, which carries a salary of $192,100. In addition to being friends, Greenwood and Goff owned rental property together in Davis at the time.

"It appears that Provost Greenwood may have been involved in Dr. Goff's hiring to a greater extent than was appropriate, given her business relationship with Dr. Goff,'' said Dynes in a written statement.

Ex—provost Greenwood received some eyebrow—raising compensation in her move up ro UC headquarters. Her salary of $380,000 was almost 100k more than her predecessor. Although it was jsutified in the name of the expense she would face in buying a house in the Bay Area, she also received a $125,000 relocation allowance, $17,950 for temporary housing, and $9,527 for moving expenses.

Don't worry about ex—Provost Greenwood starving to death. She remains on salary as a professor. Tenure, you know.

Her son, a "senior intern" at the new UC Merced campus, received a somewhat startling $45,000 in salary. Investigations are continuing, we are told, into the question of the role of one of Greenwood's subordinates in his hiring. I was always under the impression that an intern was a trainee, and received a low salary to account for the training opportunity. Nobody gets rich on 45k, especially in California (although Merced is a lot cheaper than the Bay Area), but it is pretty handsome compensation for someone fetching coffee, xeroxing, and other intern—like duties. Perhaps a senior intern is above such mundane tasks, but I would certainly like to find out what the job description is and where one applies for one of these jobs.

I have kids, too.


I have no information at all about the personal relationship of Greenwood and Goff. However, a poster at provides a link to this column by Don Thomas, of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, on Greenwood's sudden departure, whic prevented her from attending the innauguration of her successor as Chancellor at the Univeristy of California, Santa Cruz, Denise Denton. Denton is a lesbian whose partner was hired by the university at the same $192,000 salary Goff received. That is a curious coincidence. As the Sentinel notes:

...what happened with Denton and her partner, while it looked bad at the time and may have led to Greenwood's undoing, did not violate any university regulations. Indeed, UC officials said it's standard practice for a partner of a top UC employee to be hired as well.

Is $192,000 some sort of standard salary for lesbian partners? Do heterosexual partners receive the same compensation? Miller of the Sentinel mentions

...complaints by faculty and students of a highly paid "elite" at UC and...the whisper campaign that what is seen by some as a powerful coterie of lesbians has gained power and influence within the UC system.