Accountability Report 2020

chapter 6: staff



The three-pronged mission of the University of California includes teaching, research, and public service, none of which can be accomplished without the support of staff who organize and facilitate all that is required to do the work of the University.

Non-academic staff employees constitute nearly 71 percent of UC’s workforce and are responsible for health services, student services, instruction and research support, compliance, and general administration (6.1.1). In October 2019, this group included some 163,517 individuals, with about 35 percent of them part-time. Two-thirds of these part-time employees are student workers. Overall, this workforce represented 120,930 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees in that month.

Staff groups and workforce diversity
  • UC Health employs over half of staff FTE (62,836) as doctors, nurses, administrators, technicians, and allied health professionals. Ninety-seven percent of these employees are supported by non-core funds, typically the revenues generated by hospital services.
  • Student workers for the general campus (non-health) are predominately part-time. While their headcount is 36,173, they comprise only 8,942 FTE. Students often work on campus as part of their financial aid packages or for research experience.
  • General campus, non-student employees are the remainder of the University’s staff, at 49,152 FTE. This includes student services employees, librarians, IT specialists, research administration, laboratory staff, food and auxiliary service workers, accountants, maintenance and janitorial staff, safety workers, and analysts (6.1.1).

UC is dedicated to building a more diverse workforce, particularly including those from underrepresented groups. Staff at UC are majority female and increasingly ethnically diverse across all personnel groups (6.1.2). However, there are variations among the different employee groups, with less diversity and women representation among senior positions. A more diverse academic and staff population is an increasingly important attribute of a thriving public research university system.

Staff compensatioN

Over the past decade, UC has relied less on core funds (state funds, tuition and fees, and other general funds) to cover the staff payroll. While UC has about 26,340 more staff FTE than ten years ago — largely due to UC Health and student staff growth — nearly 1,000 fewer FTE are paid on core funds (6.2.1). Although tuition fee increases may partially offset the decline in the state funding, just over 18 percent of staff are paid using core funds.

General campus career staff salaries have stayed relatively flat compared to inflation for the past decade and have increased modestly for some UC Health professionals. Staff salaries tend to lag behind comparable market positions, and the lack of increases beyond inflation could affect staff satisfaction and turnover (6.2.2, 6.2.3). Chancellor and system leader compensation falls on the lower end when compared to the peer institutions (6.2.4).

Staff separations and satisfaction

UC’s separation rate among career staff is about nine percent (6.3.1), which has been relatively steady for the past decade. About 21 percent of staff separations are due to retirement and reflect the baby-boomer generation exiting the workforce. Still, a large portion of separations is due to resignation to accept another job, to move out of areas, or for other reasons (6.3.2). The 2019 UC Overall Employee Engagement Survey shows some improvement since 2017 in organizational change, communication, and sustainable engagement, but that UC is still below the national norm in eight out of nine employee satisfaction categories. While voluntary separation is often influenced by a combination of factors, employee satisfaction can give us a window into the areas that might be contributing to the loss of employees to other organizations or geographic areas.


For more informatioN

UC Health staff has grown significantly as health services have expanded, while general campus, non-student support staff growth has lagged behind enrollment over the past decade.

6.1.1      Staff Full-time Equivalent (FTE), Universitywide, October 2009* to 2019


Source: UC Corporate Personnel System

* The Oct 2009 Senior Management FTE includes 93 positions (mostly Deans) that in 2010 were reclassified as academic employees. Excludes Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Hastings School of the Law, and Associated Students UCLA.

UC operates six health systems with five academic medical centers as well as schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing, and other health sciences education and research programs. Altogether, UC Health accounts for nearly 56 percent of non-academic staff growth over the past ten years. The growth has been driven by service expansions such as increases in inpatient days as well as outpatient/emergency visits. General campus student employees increased by 2,321 FTE, largely related to the additional 59,000 students UC enrolled over this period. Increased enrollment translates to more student employees working on campus as part of their financial aid packages.

General campus, non-student staff has seen the greatest growth amongst senior professionals, due to both the introduction of career tracks and the professionalization of UC’s workforce towards higher-skilled analysis and technical capabilities. Career tracks is a function-specific, market-aligned job classification system that applies consistent interpretations of which positions are Management and Senior Professional (MSP) and which are Professional and Support Staff (PSS). Within PSS, there has been a significant shift away from clerical roles into student services positions and administrative analysis to manage growing campuses and student bodies.

The proportion of underrepresented staff has grown modestly at all levels in the last decade. Representation of women has grown at the Senior Professional levels, and has stayed high at the Manager and Support Staff levels.

6.1.2      Racial/ethnic diversity of non-student staff by personnel program, Universitywide, October 2009 to 2019


6.1.3      Gender diversity of non-student staff by personnel program, Universitywide, October 2009 to 2019Gender diversity of non-student staff by personnel program, Universitywide, October 2007 to 2017

Source: UC Corporate Personnel System


UC has sought to improve representation of historically underrepresented domestic racial/ethnic groups. Diversity has increased steadily at all staffing levels; however, management and more senior positions remain less diverse. More than half of the managers and professional support staff employees are women. The percentage of women employees has grown steadily within the Senior Management Group (SMG), while Senior Professionals have nearly equal gender representation.

In last decade, the number of staff supported by core funds has fallen as state funding for the University has decreased. Non-core funds supported all of the UC Health and non-student, general campus staff increases over the same time.


6.2.1      Non-student staff FTE by fund source, General campus and UC Health, October 2009 and 20196-2-1

Source: UC Corporate Personnel System

General campus employees are increasingly paid with non-core funds such as research funds, auxiliary revenues, and other sources. Though overall general campus staff increased modestly, overall core-funded staff has decreased. This is due to a drop of over 4,700 FTE in state-funded staff, which more than offsets the increases in staff funded by tuition and fees as well as other general funds.

UC Health almost exclusively relies on non-core funds, particularly from hospital revenues, to support its staff. Despite adding about 15,000 FTE, even fewer FTE today are paid on core funds than ten years ago.

6.2 STAFF Compensation

In the past decade, inflation-adjusted salaries have been relatively flat for general campus staff, with moderate increases for some UC Health staff.

6.2.2      General campus career staff average inflation-adjusted base salaries by personnel program, FY 2009 to 2019 

General campus career staff average inflation-adjusted base salaries by personnel program, FY 02-03 to 16-17

6.2.3      UC Health career staff average inflation-adjusted base salaries by personnel program, FY 2009 to 2019

UC Health career staff average inflation-adjusted base salaries by personnel program, FY 02-03 to 16-17

Source: UC Corporate Personnel System; California CPI-W used for inflation adjustment

Over the past ten years, salaries in inflation-adjusted dollars have increased modestly for general campus career Managers and Support Staff, and have decreased slightly for Senior Professional staff. At the same time, UC employees are contributing more to their health care costs and to the UC retirement system, putting downward pressure on the competitiveness of UC’s total compensation compared with the regional labor markets where University centers are located.

Salaries among UC Health career staff have been increasing moderately in real dollars for Professional and Support Services (PSS) staff and for Managers. This reflects market trends in wages for hospital staff and growing demand for health care professionals.

6.2 STAFF Compensation

UC chancellors are among the lowest-paid when compared to their Association of American Universities (AAU) peers. The UC president’s salary also remains modest compared to public peers.

6.2.4      Base salaries and additional pay for UC and AAU institution leaders

Base salaries and additional pay for UC and AAU institution leaders

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education Executive Compensation Report and institutional data sources

UC chancellors continue to place among the lowest-paid university leaders compared with their AAU peers. Nine UC chancellor salaries fall among the lowest third in this group. UC San Francisco, an exclusively graduate health science campus, is the only exception.

Among public system leaders (a chancellor or president who administers or coordinates multiple campuses), UC President's total compensation ranks twelfth in total compensation among thirty-two peer public university system leaders. President Napolitano is one of only three women on the list of the thirty-two public university system leaders. The UC president’s compensation has not increased since September 2013.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and reduction in UC revenues, the UC President and UC Chancellors voluntarily agreed to reduce their salary by ten percent.

Separation among staff is about 9.2 percent, with significant campus variation. Retirement is the number one reason for separation.

6.3.1       Separation rates for career staff by campus and overall, FY 2018-19


6.3.2       Separation reasons for career staff, FY 2018-19

Separation Reasons for Career Staff, FY 2016-17

Source: UC Corporate Personnel System

Campuses experience a wide range of separation rates among their career staff, which may reflect different mixes of employees, work environments, and local job markets. High turnover is often expensive in terms of lost productivity, lost institutional knowledge, and replacement costs.

Nearly 21 percent of separations are due to retirement, a result of the aging baby-boomer population. While over half of separations are resignations, 26 percent of those are due to people moving away or choosing to attend school.