The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

September 19, 2013

Celebrities join UC online crowdfunding campaign for financial aid


Whatever money is raised will supplement the nearly $700 million a year in financial aid UC undergraduates receive from the university and private sources, not including federal and other state aid. Donors can direct money to a particular campus for need-based aid or to a UC-wide fund, according to a presentation during the UC regents meeting in San Francisco.

Among the big donations have been $100,000 each from Bank of America, the Entertainment Industry Foundation, and UC Regents Richard Blum, an investment banker, and Norman Pattiz, a broadcast and Internet executive.

In another matter, the governor criticized the UC policy of paying hefty annual incentive bonuses to some executives in its health care and financial investment programs if they achieve certain goals, such as reducing patient infections or substantially growing the endowment.

“I’m troubled by it,” said Brown, who added that he doubted that UC employees would abandon those goals without such bonuses. He suggested that salaries alone should be incentive enough.

However, Brown, who is a regent, did not vote against the two bonuses the regents approved Wednesday: $115,988, on top of his $580,000 base salary, for John Stobo, senior vice president of health sciences and services; and $331,344 to Melvin Stanton, who’s now co-chief investment officer, on top of his $306,800 base.

UC administrators said they have sharply reduced the number of such bonuses over the last few years and said Wednesday that they would look into Brown’s call to eliminate them altogether.

The meeting was a rare one without a system president, although provost Aimee Dorr represented the administration. Outgoing President Mark G. Yudof was out of town and his successor, Janet Napolitano, the former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, is to take over Sept. 30.

A group of UC students urged the regents to divest university funds from large oil, gas and coal companies, contending that holding such stocks and bonds contributes to the pollution that worsens global warming. The students are part of a national campaign at an estimated 300 colleges.

“Climate change is our generation’s greatest, most pressing issue,” said Ophir Bruck, a UC Berkeley student activist with the Fossil Free UC group. However, the UC regents have not moved toward such divestment.


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