UC Berkeley Administrator Gets Slap on the Wrist for Inappropriate Relations
They say that it pays to know people in the right places, but I didn’t think they meant it quite as literally as a recent scandal at Berkeley is proving. A senior administrator, Diane Leite, was recently demoted after a disciplinary investigation showed that she was giving her lover unfair and undeserved rewards.
A supervising manager at the school reported Leite and her lover, Jonathan Caniezo, a purchasing manager at Berkeley, after the manager noticed that Caniezo’s salary continued to increase for no apparent reason. In fact, between 2007 and 2010, Leite authorized five salary increases for Caniezo that increased his pay from $70,000 to $110,000. After the school heard about this and began an investigation, it was determined that Leite would be demoted to “Director of Research Development” and have her own annual salary reduced by $13,531. However, she will still be making $175,000 each year.
Despite the moral problems that someone might have with this situation, there is also the issue of financial problems that Berkeley University has been dealing with recently. For the past few years, Berkeley has been dealing with budget cuts and has had to increase tuition. Berkeley is already one of the most expensive public schools in the nation, but just last year, they approved a tuition increase that raised the amount of money that students pay each semester by almost $2,000 each year.
If I was a student at Berkeley and found out that at the same time I was paying more for my education, a staff member was almost doubling his salary, I would be furious. It seems that I am not alone in this opinion. Senator Leland Tee, a Democrat from San Francisco, is also displeased with the actions Leite took and the punishment she received.
“Here you have an administrator who crossed the line, and the only thing she gets is a slap on the wrist,” Yee said. “At the same time, student fees are going up. That’s why UC has no credibility.”
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