On the same July day that the UC Board of Regents cut $813 million from UC budgets - setting in motion pay cuts, layoffs and campus cutbacks - the board quietly approved pay raises, stipends and other benefits for more than two dozen executives.
University officials were quick to characterize the increased pay in a positive light.
"It's really a story about cost savings," said Barbara French, a UCSF spokeswoman, adding that three people on her campus who won hefty pay increases took on new duties and deserved to be compensated.
It's the same ethos as the bankster bonuses and pay raises. None of them do anything for the essential functions of their institutions that couldn't be done better and cheaper by employees who have hit one of the institutional social glass ceilings. The only exceptional things these minor league compradors have to offer are their connections to each other, driven by the conviction that entrenchment is a socially beneficial entitlement. In good times, when the institutions are flush with paper wealth, there's some grumbling over that, easily dismissed as ressentiment by the anteroom clowns. In harder times, for everyone else, the elaborately fussified ad hominem dismissals get a little nastier, and the vulgar realities of chicken plucking gain immediacy.