Monday, March 02, 2009

Executive Evaluation Procedures Posted for CIRM

Proposed procedures for evaluation of the chairman, vice chairman and president of the $3 billion California stem cell agency are now available to the public in advance of Thursday's meeting of its directors' Governance Subcommittee.

The three paragraphs are straight forward and aimed at generating what it calls “deliverables,” The procedures also seem to be non-controversial. No definition of what the board expects from the yet-to-be-elected vice chairman is contained in the document.

Whether the evaluation procedure leads to a broader discussion of the direction of CIRM remains to be seen. But it is interesting that this document is being produced four years after creation of the stem cell agency. It is also coming three months after a salary was paid for the first time to the chairman. A salary may also be paid for the first time this year to the vice chairman, depending on whom the board chooses. The president has always received a salary but Chairman Bob Klein and former Vice Chairman Ed Penhoet were independently wealthy and declined salaries. Klein, however, asked for a salary last year. In December, the board defined his position as half-time and approved $150,000.

One could speculate that the board is telegraphing a preference on the vice chairmanship if it approves formal evaluation procedures for the job that are the same as for the two other salaried positions. However, that may not be the case. You can read more about our speculation about Thursday's meeting here.

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