Saturday, October 6, 2007

Mercer Report, or Vision from the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

The Mercer Report, cited by the California State University to justify its recent increases in CSU executive pay, uses flawed methodology which the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) has abandoned as defective. If you've viewed either the short summary or the slightly longer presentation on the Mercer Report, you know that Mercer refuses to disclose the data used in its study, meaning the analysis and conclusions cannot be verified. Mercer uses the CPEC list of institutions for comparison, but since only incomplete data is available for those institutions, it is not possible to compare actual compensation. Instead Mercer and the CSU focus on base salaries alone and essentially disregard the rest of the very generous CSU executive compensation package. CPEC itself no longer does executive compensation reports because of the defects in this approach.

The California Faculty Association (CFA) has prepared a concise report of the problems with the Mercer Report and the CSU's reliance on it:
Questionable "Mercer Report" Used to Justify Generous Raises for CSU Executives (CFA) [PDF]
The executives who got these raises seem to have an awful lot of problems:
A Summary of the CFA's Investigation of CSU Executives Waste, Fraud, and Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars (CFA)

Secret data, using invalid methodology, leading to a conclusion which can't be checked? Chancellor Reed might as well have cited a vision from the Flying Spaghetti Monster as justification for those lavish executive raises.

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