Some insiders predicted he would be UCSD’s first million-dollar professor, but the state’s financial meltdown apparently dashed those plans. Still, don’t fret for Dr. William Mobley, new chairman of the department of neurosciences at the university’s medical school. According to a compensation agreement dated January 12 and released by the university last week, he’s getting a total of $500,004 a year and will be able to take advantage of a 40-year mortgage loan of up to $1.33 million bearing an interest rate of 4.65 percent and a $58,000 relocation allowance, plus moving expenses. According to the records, the state directly funds $177,400 of Mobley’s salary, with the balance derived from “grants, clinical revenue, and Department resources.”
Back on February 26, UCSD announced Mobley’s appointment in a news release in which David Brenner, the university’s vice chancellor for health sciences and dean of the medical school, praised the then-Stanford professor: “We are truly fortunate that Dr. Mobley will be at the helm of the prestigious team of researchers and physicians in UC San Diego’s neurosciences department.” The release added that Mobley’s expected start date was April 1.
But when a reporter sent UCSD a public records request for Mobley’s salary information, the school responded that “while there was a news release stating that Dr. Mobley will begin his position April 1, UCSD is still in the process of hiring Dr. Mobley and anticipate a new start date of June 1.” As it turned out, final approval came on May 26, in the form of a letter to Mobley from senior vice chancellor Paul Drake.
University records reveal that Mobley was not the school’s original choice for the job. According to the final report of the Neurosciences Chair Search Committee, dated February 4, a field of eight candidates, including Mobley, was considered by the committee. For reasons unspecified in the report, Mobley subsequently dropped out of contention, and another candidate, whose name was redacted from the report before its release by the university, was chosen for the position and began salary negotiations.
“Unfortunately, after several months of negotiations, Dr. Brenner could not reach an agreement with [redacted],” the report says. Three new candidates, along with one left over from the original search, were subsequently interviewed, according to the report, but none were invited for a second visit. “It was then that Dr. William Mobley reconsidered his decision to withdraw from consideration and requested to be reinstated as a candidate. Dean Brenner then agreed to negotiations with the last two remaining candidates, [redacted] and Mobley.” Mobley ultimately prevailed during a January interview with Brenner and other administrators, the report says.