University of California System Chancellor Mark Yudof, who served as chancellor of the University of Texas System from August 2002 to May 2008 and was previously dean of the UT law school, is embroiled in a controversy over his state-funded housing, according to a terrific story posted online this afternoon by our nonprofit news brother-in-arms, The Bay Citizen, and and its content partner, The New York Times.
The Bay Citizen's Steve Fainaru reports that Yudof and his wife have been living in temporary housing for the last two years while the chancellor's official residence, Blake House, has been undergoing $10 million in repairs. The rent on the Yudofs' 10,000-square-foot, four-story home in Oakland Hills was more than $13,000 a month — a cost incurred by the taxpayers of California, which is in the middle of the one of the worst economic crises that any state has seen, and whose flagship universities have endured massive layoffs and tuition increases.
When the Yudofs moved out of the house on June 30, Fainaru writes, the damage to the property was such that the landlord informed the state that he intended to keep the security deposit of more than $32,000 and demanded an additional $45,000. The state initially negotiated that latter amount to just under $20,000, but two weeks ago the deal was scotched by Yudof, who called the terms of the settlement "outrageous and ridiculous."
Other fun facts in the piece: The state of California paid more than $70,000 to move the Yudofs from Austin, and the UC System spent more than $127,000 on security at the rental house in response to protests over cuts to higher education. The total cost to the state of the two-year odyssey, Fainaru found, was more than $600,000.
Chalk up another victory for filers of open-records requests...