Marye Anne Fox
An ex–University of California chancellor and UCSD chemistry professor who made a gross annual state salary of $212,711 in 2014 has surrendered another lucrative corporate board seat in the world of private education.
"On March 17, 2016, Dr. Marye Anne Fox resigned from the Board of Directors of Bridgepoint Education, Inc., effective immediately," says a notice filed by the San Diego–based company with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.
"Dr. Fox's decision to resign from the Board was for personal reasons not related to any disagreement with the Company relating to the Company's operations, policies or practices."
The former UCSD chancellor's exit follows by less than a month the March 1 resignation by current UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi from the board of for-profit college company DeVry Education Group; a week earlier she had accepted the $70,000-a-year position.
The ensuing controversy over Katehi's private-sector involvement, including her receipt of $420,000 during a board gig for publisher Wiley & Sons, drew calls for reform by state legislators, including San Diego state senator Marty Block.
"It’s become apparent in the last 24 hours that some of the CEOs of these campuses have more than one job and make a lot of money in other places,” Block said.
“Chancellor Katehi is the case on the front page of The Sacramento Bee today and my guess is there might be others.”
As if to illustrate the point, in February Fox's successor as UCSD chancellor, Pradeep Khosla, joined the board of the Avigilon Corporation of Vancouver, British Columbia, a maker of high-tech face-recognition and related electronic-surveillance systems.
"His expertise in engineering and computer science, in particular with video analytics and artificial intelligence, is a valuable asset to Avigilon's innovation and growth," said Avigilon chief Alexander Fernandes in a news release.
An inveterate mega-money board-joiner during her tenure as UCSD chancellor from 2004 to 2012, Fox signed on with the controversial Bridgepoint in November 2011.
“By harnessing creativity, knowledge and proprietary technologies, Bridgepoint Education is re-engineering the modern student experience,” Fox said in release at the time.
“I am honored to join Bridgepoint Education's board of directors and look forward to being involved with this exciting organization.”
At the time she was also on the boards of software company Red Hat Inc. and WR Grace & Co., maker of construction products and chemicals.
In January 2006, at the height of her moonlighting, Fox was a member of ten boards, including those of Boston Scientific Corp. and Pharmaceutical Product Development Inc.
"The real benefit is the university's profile is enhanced by board service by chancellors and presidents,” she told the Union-Tribune at the time.
According to data collected by Forbes magazine in 2013, Fox received compensation from Red Hat, including stock, of $265,080. W.R. Grace & Company paid her $180,035, and Bridgepoint provided $132,032.
Fox quit the Red Hat board last year.
In addition to her corporate activity, in 2014, the latest period for which data is available online from the University of California, Fox was paid $212,711 in her position as Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCSD.
On February 9, former Bridgepoint executive filed a whistleblower suit in federal court alleging that the firm had cooked the books regarding student-retention rates.