Rental for Incoming President to Cost UC More Than $300,000

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Incoming UC President Mark Yudof will be living in a house in Oakland that will cost the university approximately $325,920 over the course of its 24-month lease.

Yudof will live in Oakland after he assumes his post on June 16 while Blake House, the Kensington home traditionally used to house the university president, is assessed for repairs.

The university will rent the house and its furnishings for $11,360 a month during the first year of the lease, and $11,750 a month in the second year.

An additional $2,025 a month on average will be paid for utilities and additional services at the house.

University officials say the cost of repairing Blake House will be approximately $8 to $9 million. Another assessment will take place this summer to obtain a more current estimate.

According to UC spokesperson Paul Schwartz, Blake House has undergone a great deal of damage, including problems with its roof and foundation, because the house is on the site of an active geologic slide.

The house was built in 1926 and was passed on to the university in 1962 by the Blake family.

In 2002, costs for repairs to the house were estimated to be $7 million, but the working estimate has been adjusted for inflation, university officials said.

University presidents and chancellors are required by UC policy to live in university-provided housing, which among their many functions and duties, they use to hold ceremonies and host visiting dignitaries.

Schwartz said the property in Oakland was chosen for its potential to fill these duties as well as serve as a home for the president.

Schwartz said housing is provided as a means of offsetting the high cost of living in California.

"If we were not providing housing, our salaries would have to be a lot higher," he said.

While Schwartz said he felt housing is a significant part of the president's compensation, he said officials are recruited to the university based on more important considerations.

"First and foremost, people come for the academic reputation, not because they get housing," Schwartz said.

Schwartz said it is impossible to know for certain how the university will use Blake House in the future until another assessment is made.

Student Regent Ben Allen said he was unsure what should be done about repairing the house.

"In many ways, they're stuck between a rock and a hard place, because on the one hand it's very expensive, and on the other hand, the longer they wait the more costly it will be," he said.


Contact Valerie Woolard at [email protected]

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