Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Negative Reaction to 'Big Bucks' at California Stem Cell Agency

The headline on Biopolitical Times was "Big Bucks Become Bigger at CIRM." The subject was the proposed, whopping increase in salary pay ranges for top execs at the California stem cell agency.

Here is part of what Jesse Reynolds of the Center for Genetics and Society had to say today under the headline:
"Given the dire condition of the state's budget and the recent pay scandal at the University of California, this move will only attract more criticism for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. If the compensation sums skyrocket according to the CIRM's plan, calls for its termination, such as the recent editorial in Investor's Business Daily, would likely grow more common. "
Reynolds also had a good link to a 2005 story about the controversy about high salaries at CIRM, which you can find here.

We were not critical in 2005 on the salary issue. Talented people cost money. As we have remarked earlier, the increases in the CIRM pay ranges may be justified. But they have not been justified by CIRM. The agency's pay plan is extraordinarily ill-timed because of California's current budget crisis. Negative reaction could have been minimized with more thoughtfulness at CIRM -- thoughtfulness that could have spread increases over several years with a well-explained rationale. But our sense is that some of the folks at the top of the CIRM organization have a very limited grasp about public perceptions involving government.

CIRM Chairman Robert Klein, its board of directors and executives should understand that CIRM is a public agency first – with all the baggage that connotes – and a scientific endeavor second. Without public money and support, no research grants or fresh hESC science would exist.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:45 AM

    I guess money is simply everywhere nowadays!


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