November 27, 2012 – Brown, a regent himself, joined the panel in unanimously approving Nicholas Dirks, a scholar and executive vice president at Columbia University, as chancellor of UC Berkeley beginning in June. But the governor balked at approving Dirks’ $486,800 annual salary, which is $50,000 more than what current Chancellor Robert Birgeneau earns. The increase “does not fit within the spirit of servant leadership that I think will be required over the next several years,” Brown told the regents before their vote. The pay hike, from private donations, is a raise of more than 11 percent. By contrast, the nation’s gross domestic product rose by less than 2 percent last year – a fact not lost on the governor.