Where College Tuition Goes

The cost of college is a hot-button topic these days, so much so that presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has made it his hallmark campaign theme.

USC, a private school, just announced its annual tuition is over $50,000, topping Harvard. However, for the parents and students pulling together dollars to get into one of the University of California schools, here are a couple of examples of what you’re paying for, aside from the bloated pensions.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi (one of 10 UC chancellors) pulls in an annual salary (plus benefits) of $424,360. That wasn’t enough.

It’s now revealed she also earns $70,000 annually from DeVry Education Group. The online college degree business is under state and federal investigations for deceptive advertising.

That’s not all. Knowledge of this employment emerged the same day the Sacramento Bee published Katehi’s three-year income of $420,000 from college textbook publisher John Wiley and Sons.

It’s UC policy that the “superiors” of senior managers need permission to take outside paid positions – allowing up to three. Katehi didn’t get that consent. As reported in the L.A Times (March 16), the extra jobs are to be “performed during personal time and reported annually.”

Either Katehi’s $424,360 job doesn’t keep her very busy, or the other employees work around the clock so she can moonlight at night and weekends – her personal time.

But no harm, no foul.

UC President Janet Napolitano gave Katehi a pass because she apologized, and they’ll all make sure this doesn’t happen again. It’s also grand that after Katehi got caught, she’s going to be magnanimous and donate the stock she earned at DeVry to a UC Davis scholarship fund.

This greed is priceless at an average of $634,360 per year.

As an aside, textbooks are ridiculously expensive. The $420,000 Katehi earned from John Wiley and Sons is for her position as one, only one, board member. We can only guess the amount of compensation of the administrators and staff.

Napolitano brushed off Katehi’s sham easily, but the liberal bastion of the UC Berkeley campus isn’t as convenient.

Berkeley Law School Dean Sujit Choudrhry earned a sexual harassment lawsuit from his administrative assistant. Berkeley had already experienced astronomy faculty member Geoff Marcy sexually harassing female students “for years.” His actions were overlooked by the powers that be.

Choudrhry’s actions were pooh-poohed, as well – at first.

Berkeley Provost Claude Steele ordered Choudrhry’s salary of $173,000 cut by 10 percent; he would undergo counseling (surely at taxpayers’ expense) and apologize to his victim. Choudrhry was allowed “to retain his post at the prestigious law school” (L.A. Times, March 13).

The victim filed a lawsuit, and the college’s reaction was to put the alleged offender “on an indefinite leave of absence” (paid) and to demote him “to a faculty position.” Only then did he resign.

Choudrhry admitted the sexual harassment of hugs, kisses and touching; he said he just didn’t do it as frequently as alleged.

UC Berkeley’s’ vice chancellor for research, Graham Fleming, resigned in April 2015 over sexual harassment of a campus employee. He was removed from the faculty but allowed to stay on and collect a paycheck as “an international ambassador for the school’s Global Campus in Richmond” event. Apparently when it grew too hot to handle, Napolitano acted and took away that position.

UCLA has an issue of its own with history professor Gabriel Piterberg’s “alleged sexual harassment of two female graduate students.” Piterberg has been fined a measly $3,000 and “suspended one quarter without pay.”

He’ll be back.

The public isn’t told about the bounty these characters walk away with when they leave their jobs under dark clouds over events that are outside the scope of their job titles. Their jobs and statuses precipitate their out-of-scope perversions, yet it’s pretty clear they walk away with their goodies and pensions.

Parents, students and taxpayers, think about all of this as you mull over college tuition, buying books and looking at the next bond issue to support “the children and education.”