Friday, July 19

Money Talks: UCLA pays thousands of dollars in fees for notable speakers

Hillary Clinton was paid $300,000 to speak in a Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership in March. Other prominent speakers have come to UCLA in recent years, charging a wide range of fees.

Hillary Clinton was paid $300,000 to speak in a Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership in March. Other prominent speakers have come to UCLA in recent years, charging a wide range of fees.

Hillary Clinton’s $300,000 UCLA paycheck for a speech in March has caught the attention of news outlets and students across the nation in the past week, prompting the Daily Bruin to take a closer look at the fees for UCLA lectures by other notable individuals in recent years.

The costs of the Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership, which organized Clinton’s speech, are covered by donations from Meyer Luskin, an entrepreneur and a major donor to UCLA, said Jean-Paul Renaud, a spokesman for the College of Letters and Sciences, in an email on Tuesday.

The lecture series, which was established in 2011, has invited other prominent speakers to UCLA, such as former President Bill Clinton and former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Both Bill and Hillary Clinton donated all their speaking fees to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, Renaud said.

When the former secretary of state talked at a Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership at Royce Hall, hundreds of students began camping out on campus as early as 2 a.m. to get tickets, rushing the Central Ticket Office when it opened later that morning. About 400 students were able to attend the lecture for free through a lottery and about 1,200 students who did not receive a ticket were able to watch the live stream.

Faculty and staff were able to buy tickets for the lecture, which cost up to $500 each for the public. Because the event was meant to raise funds for the College’s Greatest Needs program, which funds scholarships and research in the College, UCLA aimed to raise between $25,000 and $50,000 from the lecture.

Despite the popularity of the lecture, some people have argued that certain speakers come at too high a cost.

“Hillary Clinton has inspired a lot of students, but when you talk about funding, $300,000 could have gone somewhere else to create concrete changes,” said Conrad Contreras, the Undergraduate Students Association Council external vice president. “It’s difficult to see that UCLA is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to someone who is already wealthy when I have friends and families working countless hours to stay in higher education.”

In other cases, prominent speakers such as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Samantha Power, the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations, were not paid a fee when they came to speak at UCLA through the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations, said Peggy McInerny, a spokeswoman for the UCLA International Institute, in an email.

The Burkle Center organizes the annual Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture at UCLA, which has hosted prominent speakers like David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker. In the email, McInerny said Rice and Power responded to personal appeals to speak in memory of Daniel Pearl.

Compiled by Jeong Park, Bruin senior staff.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on Reddit

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.

  • glen broemer

    With either the willfully blind approval or the willful ignorance of the judiciary the right has killed & stolen several of my pets and routinely shoots energy weaponry at me and my pets. Recent harm to animals include: two kittens from a pregnant stray i took in were killed a few months ago. The remaining two, just 3 months old, shake their head as government operatives shoot them with energy weaponry. They shot the eye out or removed the eye of a large really good natured stray at the port, hobbled another cat at the port, shooting it with energy weaponry, and for years routinely killed and left dead animals in my path. A few years ago one of them threatened ‘we’ll just kill a cat every so often’, in so many words. This has continued despite my calls to the police, the FBI, Congress, and my petitions in court. In the usual case, it appears that the right goes to a judicial crony for a ruling permitting them to harm animals to retaliate against me for my free speech. The federal government, the right wing in particular, interfered with my personal life and economic options for 3 decades, so their solution to my noting it is to kill animals. Makes perfect sense right? It does if you’re a sociopathic criminal, criminally stupid, and hawkish. Invariably their lies are exposed and the wrongfulness of the harm is clear to everyone, though not until the animals have been maimed or killed. There is really only one solution, and that’s to disempower them politically and to impeach them.

    If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth, right? the Democrats’ great accomplishment is producing the political equivalent of a Rodney King video, clearly demonstrating the lies of the right, the right Hilary Clinton correctly identified as a vast conspiracy. Confirm by examining Central District of California Cases, 01-4340, 03-9097, 08-5515, 10-5193, US Tax Court 12000-07L –though I think you want to view my US Tax Court Appeal to the 9th Circuit for a good account of their day to day assaults, a few month time slice indicative of a decade of assault, and more recently 9th Circuit case 11-56043.

  • glen broemer

    If this seems like overposting, I generally publish when I’ve been assaulted, or when my privacy is ignored, or when my cats cry out in pain by some action of government. I’ve been assaulted thousands of times over the past decade now, I’m sure that estimate is accurate….One of my cats is bleeding, hair missing from its back, and two of them actually have scabs on their back as a result of being shot with energy weaponry. According to one report this results from my publication of Ronald Reagan quotes and biographical facts, indisputable and in fact from wikipedia. The federal government of course has all the power in the world to stop it.

    Typically operating through puppets–including puppets in the judiciary–the right wing has for decades been committing crimes and trying to classify them to cover them up, a move explicitly forbidden by the Code of Federal Regulations. The right has accomplished its political objectives by presenting a fraction of the evidence to judicial officials who, having seen the pattern dozens of times before, could not help but realize that they were being presented with incomplete and inaccurate information.