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.


Loading...

10 Comments

  1. bobfromsanluis says:

    From the article: “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.” What exactly are those “similar institutions” ? Private universities, perhaps? So? What is the point of that, those presidents are not being paid with taxpayer’s funds, pay them what you want; for the university presidents of “public institutions” however, there needs to be more accountability. If the “similar institutions” are some sort of industry or company that pays its’ CEOs millions upon millions a year to show some sort of short term profit by firing thousands of employees and then can still sleep comfortably at night, that takes a very “special” person, namely, a psychopath. Regardless of who the public university presidents are being compared to, they do need to realize that most taxpayers are ready to blow a fuse at how much taxpayer money is spent on various institutions and salaries for certain, well educated department heads and managers.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down

Comments are closed.