Despite looming state budget cuts, it appears that the University of California system will continue to provide generous incentive pay and salaries, many of them to staff who already appear to be fairly well compensated.

According to an article by Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle:

UC has still found a way to reward hundreds of employees with more than $4 million in incentive pay and raises.

At the regents meeting Thursday in San Diego, UC officials reported giving rewards of $150 to $41,205 to nearly 1,500 UCSF employees who met performance targets, raising the pay of some campus executives to above market rate, and providing 10 percent raises of about $20,000 a year to three executives at their Oakland headquarters.

The executives, who have various financial responsibilities for the UC system, will earn between $216,370 and $247,500 in base pay.

Cal thinks it’s appropriate to further compensate munificently salaried employees at a time when the system expects to turn away tens of thousands of qualified applicants due to budget constraints.

University spokesman Steve Montiel explained that this was because, “Whether a budget crisis or not, the university still has to be able to pay competitive salaries and incentives consistent with industry standards.”

Why? There’s unlikely to be a mass exodus of highly paid academic administrators from Cal if they don’t get bonuses next year. Where would they go?

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer