Sunday, January 19

[Online exclusive]: Ex-provost Greenwood violated UC policies, probe finds

Updated 5:20 p.m.

The University of California’s former second-ranked
official violated UC conflict of interest policies in hiring a
business partner for a newly created management position, according
to results of a UC investigation released Wednesday.

Officials also said an internship created for her son by one of
her subordinates was funded improperly.

M.R.C. Greenwood, the UC’s former provost who resigned
last month in the midst of the inquiry, hired Linda Goff in June
2004 as director of the Science and Math Initiative, which aims to
increase math and science teachers in the state’s

The investigation found that at the time of the hiring, Goff and
Greenwood had an “ongoing business relationship, which
included joint ownership in a house and a listing as co-mortgagees
on a bank loan” and constituted a violation of UC policies.
According to the report, Greenwood said she tried to
“disentangle” her business relationship with Goff, but
the UC said the hiring was still inappropriate given the
relationship between the two.

But Greenwood will not face any additional sanctions for the
violation. Her self-removal as provost on Nov. 4 was the harshest
sanction UC President Robert Dynes could have levied against her,
said UC spokesman Paul Schwartz.

“The biggest repercussion was the fact that she is no
longer provost, and that’s significant,” Schwartz said,
adding that if facts had surfaced which warranted additional
sanctions, the case would have been forwarded to the Academic
Senate for review.

Instead, Greenwood will remain a part of the UC as a member of
the UC Davis faculty in the College of Agriculture at a salary of
$163,800 per year.

Additionally, a separation agreement between Greenwood and the
UC ““ signed Nov. 23, several weeks before the investigation
was completed ““ promises the former provost a yearlong
sabbatical at her former salary of $301,840 per year in addition to
three months’ paid administrative leave at that rate after the

A related investigation also released Wednesday found that
former UC Vice President of Student Affairs Winston Doby improperly
created a position at UC Merced for Greenwood’s son, James,
who was hired for a $45,000-per-year internship.

James Greenwood was the only candidate for the job, and the
report found that the funding and recruitment surrounding the
internship’s creation were done with him in mind, though
investigators found no evidence that M.R.C. Greenwood was directly
involved with the hiring.

Investigators said the duties of James Greenwood’s
internship fell outside the scope of Doby’s office, which
dealt with “student academic preparation activities,”
but found no violations of university rules and did not recommend
sanctions against Doby.

Doby was placed on administrative leave at the start of the
investigation, and denies any wrongdoing but accepted the
“appearance of favoritism and an error in judgment in regard
to the James Greenwood funding assistance,” according to the

The investigation’s findings come after a storm of
criticism in recent months directed at the UC’s compensation
of its top administrators.

Just more than a week after Greenwood’s resignation, the
San Francisco Chronicle published a report detailing $871 million
in bonuses, relocation packages, and other forms of cash
compensation given to UC employees ““ $599 million of which
went to about 8,500 employees. Those payments were not included in
a consultant’s report prepared for the UC in September, which
said UC executives’ salaries lagged 15 percent behind those
at comparable institutions.

Lawmakers and interest groups responded with sharp criticism,
alleging the university has been deceptive in disclosing salary
information as student fees have risen 79 percent in the past four

The UC defended the compensation as necessary to recruit the
best possible faculty and administrators, but has acknowledged the
need for increased transparency in its financial dealings.

On Monday, the UC announced the creation of a UC Board of
Regents committee to oversee university compensation as well a
third-party audit of senior management compensation practices.

“The Regents recognize the University of
California’s unique public trust,” said Gerald Parsky,
chairman of the Board of Regents, in a statement. “While UC
must maintain its ability to compete with top universities across
the nation for outstanding researchers, teachers and
administrators, we must do so in ways that are transparent and
understandable to the public.”

Schwartz said the university would be carefully looking into its
policies in the wake of the criticisms and the investigations
surrounding Greenwood and Doby.

“There’s going to be a very thorough review of our
personnel policies and practices in light of the larger
compensation issues that we’re now dealing with,” he

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.