How much money should a CSU president make?
July 10, 2011
The debate over how much money a California State University president should be paid flared up again with word that the new president of San Diego State University will make $100,000 more annually than his predecessor. [LA Times]
Dr. Elliot Hirshman, in a move scheduled to be approved Tuesday by CSU trustees, will be paid an annual salary of $400,000—$350,000 from the state and an additional yearly supplement of $50,000 from the campus’ nonprofit foundation.
Many lawmakers, students and faculty were incredulous at the salary recommendation and its timing, coming after the Legislature and governor approved a spending plan last week that cuts $650 million from Cal State, with additional reductions possible.
On the same agenda Tuesday, the university’s governing board will consider a recommendation to increase annual tuition by 12 percent — or an additional $294 a semester for fall 2011. That would be on top of a previously approved increase of 10 percent. Over the last decade tuition has tripled, to $4,884 a year for undergraduates in the university system.
A study commissioned by the chancellor found that CSU campus presidents are underpaid compared to their peers, receiving on average only about 52% of the pay of chief executives at similar institutions. Current presidents have not received a raise since 2007.
Trustees faced scrutiny last January when they agreed to pay the new president of Cal Poly, Jeffrey Armstrong, $350,000 in state-funded salary, plus a $30,000 annual supplement from the campus foundation. Until that point, according to a lawsuit filed by the faculty association, the salary schedule for the system’s campus presidents had ranged from $223,584 to $328,200.
The suit, filed in April, alleges that the chancellor and trustees violated California’s open-meeting laws by failing to provide public notice of the increase in the maximum salary range.