FanPost

Morgan Center rampant salary inflation- it's not only Doughnut's salary we need to worry about

Bellerophon provided a most insightful link in his fanpost to a report by the Center for Investigative Reporting, which highlighted excessive spending throughout the UCLA campus. This in turn led to a link in the comment thread by Markpav44 to an article in the LA Times which primarily dealt with UCLA football coaching staff salaries.

There was one paragraph, intended to provide context, which mentioned that "Associate Athletic Director Mark Harlan" and "Associate Athletic Director John Jentz" had received salary increases. For Harlan, the numbers are as follows-$88,195 (2010-11) to $186,618 (2011-12) to "a little more than" $200,000 (2012-13). For Jentz, the numbers are as follows- $83,115 (2010-11) to $150,452 (2011-12) to "a little more than" $200,000 (2012-13).

Here is some further background on these two fortunate souls, from their official bios on UCLA's athletic department website.

Mark Harlan came to UCLA in July, 2010 as "Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Relations." At least per the bio, this was his title when he was hired, and this is still his current title. He is a University of Arizona alum. His job prior to UCLA (again, per the bio) was "Senior Vice President for Central Development at the University of Arizona Foundation."

John Jentz started at UCLA on June 14, 2010 as "Senior Associate Athletic Director- Chief Financial Officer". Like Harlan, his current title is the same one he had when hired, according to the bio. He graduated from BYU, and is a native of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Before coming to UCLA (again, per the bio), he was at the University of Wisconsin for over 9 years, most recently as "Associate Athletic Director".

There was a supposition in the comment thread to Bellerephon's post that the dramatic bumps for Harlan and Jentz might have been due to promotions, or changes in job title/responsibiities, and that the bumps would be justified because they had to compete against outsiders in their new roles.

However, at least according to the bios, no such promotions or changes in job title/responsibilities occured. If my math is correct, Mark Harlan's salary jumped 112% in one year, and John Jentz's salary jumped 81% in the same year.

At least on the surface, each of these Morgan Center administrators had dream jobs before they were lured to Westwood. Harlan was working at his alma mater, and Jentz had been working 9 years in his home state.

Now, I will take a wild leap of faith here, and suggest that there might have been more than one qualified candidate in the country to take care of external relations for Morgan Center. It is possible that the University of Arizona Foundation set the bar for every other school in the country. Then again, it is possible that they did not set the bar.

Similarly, and again going out on a limb, there might have been more than one qualified CFO candidate in the country. It is possible that the University of Wisconsin is the gold standard for athletic department back office personnel, and there is no use looking anywhere else if you want quality. Then again..

So we have a situation where Doughnut hires somebody to take care of external relations, and somebody to be the CFO. And he gets two guys who are already in great situations. So it should take a lot of money to pry them loose, right? Something on the order of "a little more than" $200,000 might do the trick.

But these guys came in at $88,195 (Harlan) and $83,115 (Jentz). Assuming they didn't take pay cuts for the opportunity to work for Doughnut, they weren't making six figures at Arizona and Wisconsin. And now, after 2 years on the job, they are both making over $200,000?

Something doesn't make sense here. I have a theory, and it has nothing to do with promotions (which didn't occur per the bio). My guess (and it is only a guess) is that Doughnut promised them massive increases (and 112% and 81% raises are massive) on an informal basis after one year if they would come in cheap when hired. My guess is that he would have expected scrutiny when these guys were hired, so got them to take lowball bids when their initial hiring was reviewed. He then expected that the spotlight would be off, and could jack up their salaries when nobody was looking.

Too bad it didn't work out that way. What we are left with is a roadmap for a bureaucratic strategy to get around public scrutiny. But what should we expect from Doughnut? He is first and foremost a bureaucrat.

We wind up with 2 senior associate athletic directors reporting to Doughnut, and making over $200,000 for jobs for which they are not uniquely qualified (again, external development people and CFO's don't grow on trees, but they are also not one of a kind). And if these guys were one of a kind, they would have required more than $88K and $83K to leave their alma mater/home state.

What do Harlan and Jentz have in common with Mora and Alford? Two things. First, they are all paid as if there was massive competition for their services, when in fact this was not necessarily the case, at least on the surface. Two, they were hired by Doughnut, who set their compensation.

I will make another wild stab, and suggest that Janet Napolitano is not in line for a 112% raise, or even an 81% raise, in her second year, unlike Harlan and Jentz. It is her unfortunate fate that she doesn't have Gene Block at the top of her chain, unlike Doughnut, Harlan and Jentz.

No doubt, Morgan Center would claim that none of Harlan or Jentz's salary came from public funds. But, as we have pointed out over and over, money is fungible. Morgan Center is running at a loss, pre-subsidy. So at least part of their salaries are coming from student fees, attendance, donors, TV revenues, and any other source who thought they were supporting our student-athletes, instead of supporting these back office types pulling down 121% and 81% salary increases.

Gene Block allows this culture of grabbing to thrive and prosper at Morgan Center. This runs downhill from Block to Guerrero to Harlan and Jentz. And by "this", you all know what runs downhill.

Janet Napolitano could send a clear message that the party is over by getting rid of Block, and by letting his successor clean house at Morgan Center. No more Doughnut. No more 121% and 81% raises. Wouldn't that be nice?

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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