Sunday, June 25, 2006

UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Dead, An Apparent Suicide

From new blogroll entry NewsAlert (see blogroll at left) comes this San Francisco Chronicle article about UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Denice Denton, who died after jumping from a building in San Francisco Saturday morning. The article said she was despondent about both personal and professional issues.

Denton made news with her hiring at UCSC, in part because there were several "interesting" requirements she had as part of her acceptance.

Denton had been provided a 2,680-square-foot home on the UC Santa Cruz campus, the subject of a story in a Chronicle series this spring examining perks and pay in the UC system.

Before she moved into her university-provided house on campus in 2005, she asked for dozens of improvements -- everything from a new fence for her dogs to new wiring, speakers, amplifier and CD player for a built-in sound system, according to university documents. In all, a $600,000 upgrade was made to the home, though it is not clear how many of the improvements were at Denton's request. Denton's annual salary was $282,000...

In 2005, UC unions protested the hiring of (Gretchen) Kalonji, a former University of Washington professor of materials science, into a $192,000 UC management position. UC also provided Kalonji, then Denton's partner of seven years, a housing assistance allowance of up to $50,000.

I would assume they'd live in the same house. Why would her partner need $50,000 in housing allowances?

I think NewsAlert hit the nail on the head by saying, "You haven't heard the last of this story. Denice Denton's financial situation was becoming news."

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