Yesterday, I pointed out the blatant hypocrisy inherent in the UCLA Department of Education’s faculty statement of solidarity with the Occupy LA movement. Not only does the statement do nothing to reduce “the systematic undermining of equal educational opportunity for all students from pre-k through university”, but also it shamelessly avoids accepting the institution’s role in accelerating tuition costs. Nationwide, tuition costs have likely risen faster than any other good in the American economy since 1978.
Today, I wanted to focus on what percentage of UCLA’s employees earn over $250,000 a year, so that UCLA’s Department of Education can better direct its anger at sources closer to home.
It just so happens that the percentage of UCLA’s approximately 25,000 employees making over $250,000 in 2010 was about 2.8%. For the United States at large, it was only 0.6% (Note: this should not be confused with the number of U.S. households making over $250k, which is a higher than 0.6%).
To put it bluntly, the number of UCLA employees making more than $250k of income is nearly 5x the national rate.
I personally don’t have a beef with compensating professors who bring money and research dollars into an institution, just as I don’t begrudge hedge fund managers who earn a percentage of millions of dollars they deliver for their investors by outperforming the market.
My only point is that we all live in glass houses. Before criticizing other industries of perpetuating income disparities, one should first focus on one’s own, because it is there where one can make the most difference.
I am anxiously awaiting a second statement declaring the pervasive unfairness in UCLA’s compensation system, and how the UCLA Department of Education will ensure that it works toward more equitable compensation schemes at UCLA, but I’m not holding my breath.