The November 14 meeting of the Regents opened with public comments. These included concerns over staffing and safety at UC hospitals, a Berkeley city councilman who called for pension caps on high-paid UC executives, students advocating fossil fuel divestment, concerns about student costs and debt, and spending on “amenities” for students at UC.
The Committee on Finance approved budgets for operations and capital after extensive discussion and back-and-forth with Governor Brown who said that UC was asking for $120 million more than it was going to get. There was a bit more push back from Regents and administrators with regard to Brown’s remarks than had characterized prior meetings. In particular, the fact that the state paid for CSU and community college retirement (to CalPERS) but resisted payments to the UC pension was referenced. There was concern about rising debts of UC as a result of state budgetary pressures. The Committee also endorsed changes in the UC mortgage program to comply with new federal rules.
UC’s pension was reported to have a market funding ratio of 79%. The issue of the sequester-related nonpayment by the federal government (Dept. of Energy) of $80 million for UC retirement expenses related to the labs was raised (as it had been at earlier meetings last week). There was discussion of what was said to be a $700 million liability reduction over 30 years for the 4,000 out-of-state retirees who are being moved off UC health plans, given a flat dollar contribution, and referred to an external contractor for counseling about what they could buy from local exchanges. [Yesterday, we posted the audio just for that segment.]
The Committee on Compensation approved pay levels for some administrators prompting an observation by Gov. Brown that the rest of the state paid less for similar employees. President Napolitano reported on faculty honors.
You can hear the entire session at the link below:
You can hear just the governor’s remarks at: