I am an elected student senator at UC Berkeley. Linda Morris Williams, an employee of the UC Office of the President (UCOP) visited the Senate meeting this week to represent the UCOP’s opinions on the budget cuts, speaking before the faculty panel. She explained how the administration is eliminating excess and being more budget-conscious themselves.
Unfortunately, as she spoke it became more and more apparent that perhaps her personal actions in the past had not reflected this budgetary concern she spoke of. Ms. Williams was, in fact, the recipient of a $100,000 severance package from UCOP, only to be immediately hired as the associate chancellor of UC Berkeley, where she now earns $300,603 yearly. To Ms. Williams’ credit, President Yudof ended the program shortly after her hiring. But for some perspective, keeping our libraries open for 24 hours during finals week would only cost approximately $30,000.
I am eager to hear from representatives of the UC Office of the President, but I truly hope that next time, UCOP respects Berkeley students enough to send someone who has not personally benefited from the excess and dearth of oversight that caused the current squeeze on faculty and students.