Monday, August 23, 2010

University of California Presidential Mansion Rent Row

A fellow UCLA alumnus sent me an SMS with news of this article about the controversy over rent payments for the UC presidential manse:
The tenant was Mark G. Yudof, president of the University of California. His midnight move was the latest chapter in a two-year housing drama that has cost the university more than $600,000 and has drawn senior U.C. officials into an increasingly time-consuming and acrimonious ordeal over the president’s private residence.

The effort to resolve Mr. Yudof’s housing problems has taken place while the U.C., the nation’s largest and most prestigious public university system, struggles with one of the worst financial crises in its history, including layoffs, student protests and tuition increases.

After six years as chancellor at the University of Texas, Mr. Yudof arrived here in 2008, vowing to bring fiscal responsibility to the 10-campus U.C. system. He chose not to live at university-owned Blake House, the traditional presidential mansion, which the university estimates requires $10 million of renovations and repairs.

Instead, Mr. Yudof, 65, moved with his wife into a 10,000-square-foot, four-story house with 16 rooms, 8 bathrooms and panoramic views. He said he needed the house, which rented for $13,365 a month by the end of the lease and was paid for by U.C., to fulfill his obligation to host functions for staff members, donors and visiting dignitaries.