Berkeley Administrator Buys Sex With University Money

Berkeley is in a very deep hole in terms of its budget, and here is one of the reasons why:

A growing chorus of voices is calling for the firing of a UC Berkeley administrator who helped triple her secret sex partner’s pay over five years. Calling Diane Leite’s punishment “an affront” to the university, several UC Berkeley professors have asked the school’s provost to investigate how the matter was handled. They are aghast that, instead of firing her, the university reassigned Leite from her assistant vice chancellor post and will still pay her $175,000 a year.

The scandal was revealed Monday when this newspaper reported that Leite, 47, had given five raises in two years to Caniezo, 30, a subordinate employee with whom she had a sexual relationship. Caniezo made less than $41,000 in 2005, but his pay jumped to $120,000 in 2010.

From $41,000 to $120,000 in just two years. College administrators get very shameless because all of the unearned money they are getting perverts them. Here is a useless administrator who goes and buys herself a sex toy that costs the university $120K per year. And the really scary thing is that this woman’s superiors are not even trying to punish her for wasting the university’s money to mitigate her huge sexual problems. There is no doubt in my mind that the rest of the administrators at Berkeley have no problems with Leite’s stealing from the university because they also get humongous salaries for doing nothing and promote all kinds of nasty nepotism.

I have got to wonder how much Berkeley pays it growing pool of exploited adjuncts.

Shame on you, Berkeley!

What I find even more bizarre than this entire situation, though, is the way the very dense author of the article that describes this situation at Berkeley concludes the piece:

“If (Leite’s violation) doesn’t rise to the level of significant punishment, what do you have to do to get fired?” Nadler said. “At a corporation, I think it’s pretty clear this wouldn’t be tolerated.”

Erm, really? Wouldn’t be tolerated by whom, exactly? When a Vice-President of Finance, for example, decides to buy some fresh young meat on the company dime, the rest of the employees sit there very quietly, not daring to make a peep. At a university where there is still some academic freedom, people protest and make their opinions known.

It is egregious that anybody would try to use this situation to suggest that a university should be turned into a corporation.

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23 comments on “Berkeley Administrator Buys Sex With University Money

    • One administrator with a family and a bunch if lovers, a hundred administrators and their hundred families and lovers, a thousand administrators…

      Yes, this is a huge part of the problem.

      • No – causes are far broader, and amounts much greater. This is a problem, but a problem on a different order. If one wants to go at salaries as problem, look at size of administrator salaries generally, not just size of raises some people got through nepotism / cronyism / etc. Math.

      • “This is a problem, but a problem on a different order. If one wants to go at salaries as problem, look at size of administrator salaries generally”

        - Absolutely. Also, the sheer numbers of administrators is daunting.

  1. Erm, really? Wouldn’t be tolerated by whom, exactly? When a Vice-President of Finance, for example, decides to buy some fresh young meat on the company dime, the rest of the employees sit there very quietly, not daring to make a peep.

    Actually it wouldn’t be tolerated because of the fear of sexual harassment lawsuits, not because the underlings might find it inappropriate. Recently the otherwise rather competent CEO of HP was fired under similar circumstances.

      • In the sense that they have no direct power. If a corporation loses a major lawsuit this comes directly out of profits distributed to shareholders. Said shareholders have control of the board and people below it. Moreover the loss would be automatically reflected in compensation packages (stock options and other such bonuses) even before that.

        There is no such direction line of command between the stakeholders at a public university and its administration, nor a direct tie between compensation and lawsuits.

  2. Actually, I know how much Berkeley pays its adjuncts – at least English adjuncts. 9000 per class if you have a PhD. One of my friends is teaching there right now. While that may sound like a lot, it’s not when you live in the SF bay area. Still, if you were single, and taught 6 courses per year, you could make it on that money, even with the high cost of living.

      • 3 courses per semester plus 2 in the summer = $72K and people do do alright on that – it’s not opulent, but.

      • Yeah – 6 x 9000 = 54K for the school year. It’s not much, but if you have a roommate, it’s very liveable. Of course, I’m talking simple living. But when you live in a beautiful place where there are a lot of places to go for free (beach, forest, mountains, etc.), it’s not so bad. It’s when you have kids to support that it really gets hard. Had we not had a second baby, we would have made it there okay. But the daycare cost for one kid was 1000 dollars a month. For 2, double it. I was only making 1900 a month as an adjunct. (I was not teaching at Berkeley, that’s sure!) So I had to quit my job at that particular school and teach night classes elsewhere.

    • This is just my opinion, of course, but I believe that even if they teach 2 and 2 and get very big salaries, that’s still not right. Scholars need tenure and universities need scholars with tenure and on the TT. This is a profession where tenure is absolutely key. We can’t keep people in subjected adjuncting positions! It is not good for anybody.

      • Yes but. From the pov of many adjuncts I know, it’s good: you have de facto tenure since you keep getting rehired, but don’t have to go through tenure review; you’re more of a perennial than the tenure track and tenured people, and you get to keep living at home / don’t have to move elsewhere for that tenure track job. It’s a very different point of view and set of priorities but it harmonizes well with that of the tenure-gutting administrators. This is why, I have discovered, my solidarity with adjuncts is sometimes misplaced.

  3. But, on the “in the corporate world she would be fired” theme, it is a bit easier to fire people in that venue. In this case, there would be a lot of details to deal with — for instance, showing that the girlfriend didn’t deserve all those raises *that have been approved up the administrative chain by several committees,* etc. I think.

  4. …from above, on adjuncting / tenure: you know, this is another reason why getting rid of tenure in the schools will not have the effect they say (of getting rid of “dead wood” and so on).

    Reality: there’s nobody else to teach those classes, so “underperforming” teachers (those whose classes don’t do well on the standardized tests) will in fact get rehired — just with a lot of scolding, and no voice, without being considered professionals, wihout raises, etc.

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