UC President Announces He's Stepping Down Next Summer

By: Juliana Barbassa AP
By: Juliana Barbassa AP

Robert C. Dynes, president of the University of California, announced Monday he plans to step down by June 2008.

Dynes' tenure as head of the renowned public university system
began in October 2003 and will end near the five-year mark he set
for himself when he took the job.

A well-known physicist before heading up the 10-campus system,
Dynes plans to renew his focus on his superconductivity research,
and spend time with his new wife, he said.

Under Dynes' leadership, the university system overcame budget troubles and ensured future state funding by forging a deal with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, opened a new research campus in Merced,
and won three Department of Energy national laboratory management

"I depart knowing that the University, at its core, remains strong," Dynes said.

Dynes' acknowledged that his administration has endured "difficult pressures" because of public scrutiny of hidden executive compensation for top administrators, but he said generous pay packages were needed to attract top talent and that abuses occurred in "only a few instances."

Various audits of UC's executive compensation practices found scores of abuses over the years. One internal audit cited 113 cases where senior managers received extra pay or benefits as exceptions to established university policies. The same audit cited the cases of fourteen senior managers who received incentive payments in violation of UC policy.

Dynes accepted responsibility for the irregularities and, following the controversy, voluntarily gave up a raise in 2006 saying "the buck stops on my desk."

But three lawmakers called for his resignation. Republican State Sen. Abel Maldonado, among the most vocal critic, said last year regents were "thumbing their nose at taxpayers and students of California," and "sending a message that breaking rules is acceptable behavior at the University of California."

Dynes will spend his last few months as president pushing forward the university system's partnerships with industry in research and development, and will bolster UC's international presence by strengthening connections with universities in China, India, Mexico and Canada.

Before he steps down, he also will tour campuses around the state, as he did when he first took office, with the goal of discussing how the system can meet the state's needs, he said.

"During his time of leadership, the UC community has continued the journey to an even better University," said Board of Regents Chairman Richard C. Blum. "Initiatives have been launched to begin addressing critical problems in the areas of diversity, K-12 educational disparity and salary gaps. And we have laid the groundwork for the restructuring of the University's administrative infrastructure to create a more effective and efficient organization."

Provost and Executive Vice President Wyatt R. Hume will add to his duties those of the University's Chief Operating Officer, a position he will hold until a new president is chosen, Dynes said.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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