FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 17, 2006
University of California Office of the President
PRESIDENT DYNES ANNOUNCES ACTION STEPS IN RESPONSE TO TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS
University of California President Robert C. Dynes today announced a series of actions the Office of the President is taking immediately in response to the findings and recommendations released last week by the Task Force on UC Compensation, Accountability, and Transparency.
“I have heard the Task Force loud and clear: Major change is required, and we need to begin implementing that change immediately,” said Dynes.
While Dynes noted that some of the Task Force recommendations clearly fall under the purview of the Board of Regents, he said he is acting on those that build upon new policies and practices already announced or that can be immediately implemented by his office. These include:
- Information Systems. As recommended by the Task Force, Dynes announced that he will make available the necessary funds to invest in the first phase of a modern, comprehensive, integrated human-resources information system that enables compensation data to be quickly examined and analyzed so that UC can meet its obligation of public accountability. Dynes said the University will focus first on capturing senior management compensation starting in October 2006 – the beginning of the next compensation cycle.
- Disclosure. The Task Force recommended a number of ways to improve disclosure of compensation actions. In response, Dynes announced that the Office of the President will continue to refine the protocols set forth beginning last November for disclosing approved compensation for senior-level appointments to the media, the Legislature and the public. This includes working with the Regents to create a standardized reporting form for use by the Regents and for releasing to the public; posting compensation actions on a new public compensation web site that is easily searchable and accessible; and continuing new practices to immediately release compensation actions taken by the Regents as “interim board actions” between meetings. These interim actions are often needed to respond to urgent needs, including those involving recruitment and retention of key faculty and managers.
- Transparency. The Task Force recommended ways to improve transparency. The Office of the President will ensure transparency in its compensation practices by developing a clear schedule and process for providing regular reports to the Regents, the Legislature and the public. As part of this effort, the University will create the abovementioned web site, design an internal tracking system to ensure that the University is meeting all human resources compensation reporting requirements, and develop a schedule and protocols for releasing annual online reports of base salaries for all UC employees.
- Public Information. Dynes said he intends to appoint by week’s end an interim systemwide Public Information Practices Coordinator who will be charged with coordinating all Public Records Act (PRA) requests and developing clear protocols and timelines for processing such requests.
- Accountability. In response to the Task Force recommendations that UC improve its compliance mechanisms, Dynes announced that Senior Vice President Bruce B. Darling, in his interim role overseeing human resources, will serve as the administration’s official liaison to the Regents on compensation matters. The seven members of Senior Management Advisory Committee, which includes several chancellors, will advise the liaison and the president on implementation strategies, as mandated by the Regents’ Special Committee on Compensation.
- Ethics Training. The University will fund and implement mandatory ethics training for all UC employees, which will include communications about existing whistleblower programs and anti-retaliation policies. In addition, Dynes is recommending the training be expanded for senior managers to include a focus on compliance requirements with University policies.
- Policy Issues. Dynes noted that the Task Force report raises a number of policy and philosophical issues, including what compensation information should be disclosed and why such disclosure is fundamental to UC’s status as a public institution; the appropriate definition of “total” compensation; and appropriate delineations of authority.
To help the president resolve these and other questions, Dynes announced he will be naming a new high-level Implementation Committee, to be comprised of Regents, chancellors, faculty, and campus and systemwide staff, to immediately begin work on these issues and to report back to the Regents for their action beginning at the board’s May meeting.
- Consequences. Dynes noted that actions must be accompanied by accountability, including consequences for problems that have occurred. “As I have discussed with the Chairman of the Regents,” said Dynes, “it’s critical that consequences be decided with full knowledge of the facts.” He further indicated that the University will review all cases identified through the three audits due for release in the next several weeks – by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Bureau of State Audits, and the University Auditor – and will work with the Regents to address all relevant issues.
“These represent just the beginning of a long process for the University of California to improve its compensation policies and practices,” concluded Dynes. “As the Task Force stated so clearly and well, the challenges laid out in its report will require several years to complete. But the time to start is now.”
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