Outrage Over UC President's Damaged, Lavish Housing

While the UC system faced massive cutbacks, its president was living it up

By Matt Baume
|  Tuesday, Aug 24, 2010  |  Updated 3:08 PM PDT
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Think you've got rent issues with your landlord?

Well, it's probably nothing compared to University of California President Mark Yudof.   The New York Times just posted a story that says when Yudof moved out of his house in June, the landlord informed the private endowment that funds his housing that he planned on keeping the security deposit -- all $32,100 of it.  That wasn't enough to fix the damage left behind.  According to the landlord, he needed $45,000 more.

What could possibly be so expensive? Well, for starters, here was apparently some damage to a $2,000 window shade, according to the New York Times. Yes, you read that right. Who decorated this place, Liberace?

Bickering commenced, with landlord Brennan Mulligan (former owner of the Timbuk2 bag company) and Yudof duking it out in the court of public opinion. Mulligan claimed that Yudof poked holes in the walls and ignored a 1.2 million-gallon water leak. Yudof called Mulligan "the landlord from hell."

We've all had awkward landlord situations, but how much sympathy can you feel for a guy who got to live in a 10,000-square-foot mansion with eight bathrooms and a monthly rent of about $13,000? Yudof claimed that he needed the palace to entertain "visiting dignitaries," but we'd like to know what those dignitaries were doing that required eight separate bathrooms.

Since the initial flare-up, tempers have subsided somewhat. Yudof has moved into a 5,000-square-foot house -- practically a hovel -- where the rent is a puny $11,500 a month. No word on whether the place has enough bathrooms to accommodate those visiting dignitaries.

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