UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi has an interesting defense for the sizable raise given to Ann Madden Rice, CEO of the UC Davis Medical Center.
Last week, UC regents approved a $259,000 raise to $960,000 a year, money paid by hospital fees, not state money or student tuition. The justification given was that another academic hospital was recruiting Rice and offering $1.5 million.
Katehi told The Bee's editorial board today that it was "not an easy decision" to support the salary hike.
While no one is irreplaceable, she said, the cost and time of replacing Rice would be far greater than the raise.
Just hiring an executive search firm would cost $500,000, Katehi said. Then the search would take a year, and UC Davis would almost certainly end up paying more for Rice's successor. That's just the way the market is, she said.
Rice, the chancellor added, is a great leader.
It's worth remembering that Katehi wasn't so supportive of Rice earlier this year.
Rice was one of 36 UC executives who demanded higher pensions, calculated on their entire salaries, not the first $245,000 of income under a UC formula. The execs threatened to sue over the issue.
Katehi came out against the higher pensions, saying that "this demand comes at a time when our university is being asked to make many sacrifices."