CSU president pay needs help

May 8, 2012

Trustees of the California State Universities have decided to stifle a new policy granting school presidents a 10 percent raise in the face of mounting public pressure. But they will seek to have the difference made up by contributions from school-connected nonprofit groups.

Following months of heated public debate, the trustees decided that this is a bad time to give the raises, as tuition costs have been raised, professors’ pay frozen, and reductions made in enrollment as part of cost-cutting efforts.

The additional salary boosts for presidents of the 23-school system will be covered by so-called “auxiliaries” which include everything from campus bookstores to student newspapers to privately-funded foundations.

Those auxiliaries would not be limited in the amount they could give to a campus president, according to the new policy.

CSU Chancellor Charles Reed defended the action, saying the system needs to offer “competitive” pay to attract “top talent.”.


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Hiring top talent seems like it could mean hiring a person with fundraising skills. Jeffrey Armstrong’s resume states that he was responsible for raising $200million for the previous university he worked at. Great! The first thing he does at Cal Poly is hit students up for more money with his “student success fee”. So much for hiring the top talent.

When all is said and done, Cal Poly is a school. Schools teach students. The best way to make Cal Poly a better school is to seek “top talent” in the teaching ranks, but you only hear the pharse “top talent” in the context of hiring administrators. The CSU needs better teachers, not more and higher paid administrators.

Oh boys and girls… how soon we have forgotten.

There was a time in most universities when a senior professor or dean would — for a time — take the role as college President. This was a good thing for morale and even if you boosted the salary of an internal hire… well… it would be much less. The modern college president is not a visionary, but a fund raiser…a saleperson.

Please don’t accept the idea that this job couldn’t be done by some other bright person on campus…


To that effect, I’d say eliminate the salary and pay them entirely on commission!

You can raise $200 million? Your cut is X% and voilà! You’re rich. If one happens to suck at it, well, they’re gone and without any pay. I mean, if you’re a salesperson, you should be paid like one.

It is getting old to hear how University President is just a “fund raising position” only to learn that good or bad performance, the job still gives a high rate of pay and benefits.

This is unethical.

If they really want to be “competitive,” they should just privatize the whole system and join the rest of the country in the pursuit of free enterprise.

Oh, now you opened a can of worms…..I agree with you 100% ….but to society today ~~ if it makes sense it must not be true…..

Become the very thing they are conditioning students to be against?! Wow, have you not visited a university or listened/read a professor in the last 40 years?


Even if one accepts that the CSU presidents salaries are in line, it’s the perks that they receive that are egregious at this time when the students are getting the s%#t end of the stick!

As the students pay more tuition every year, it has risen over 318 percent in the last decade, the CSU presidents are lavished with catered meals, expensive car allowances, housing, credit cards, and other paid for by the taxpayer perks.

It’s not that we’re jealous of these perks, but it’s the fact that while it is hard enough for the majority of students to “make it”, it seems as though the highly paid CSU president and their administration should help when the chips are down! It’s how they look and are preceived by the students! Also of mention, is the underlings in the presidents administration and their pay scale as well. It’s all relative.

Seemingly, the only way these CSU presidents look at this problem, is to raise tuition costs for the students, and raise their own pay every year as well. Remember, the “system” takes care of itself!

“Of course, you don’t see any “nonprofit campus foundations” being formed to lower student fees. And keep in mind that most of the campus presidents already take home over $400,000 a year — none of which they spend on housing or transportation, because those are provided by the CSU.”


“the system needs to offer “competitive” pay to attract “top talent.”” What a tired phrase, really??? What with layoffs and business closures, there are a lot of people that would be attracted and probably more talented than some currently employed.