Cal Poly faculty protest campus pay gap

May 15, 2015
Jeffrey Armstrong

Jeffrey Armstrong

About 200 Cal Poly faculty members, as well as some student sympathizers, marched outside the administration building Thursday to protest the pay discrepancy between administrators and teachers. [Tribune]

The university faculty union organized the protest, which reached high decibel levels as protesters blew whistles and passing drivers honked their horns. Demonstrators carried signs saying “Money for Managers, Promises for Profs” and “It’s Gone Too Far.”

The faculty union says university spending on administrators increased by 43 percent between 2010 and 2014. The number of administrators rose by 39 percent, according to the union.

Over that same period, the number of students and faculty members each increased by 10 percent. Tuition rose by 41 percent.

CSU trustees approved the hiring of current Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong in early 2011. Armstrong received a compensation package that included $350,000 in yearly pay plus an annual $30,000 supplement that comes from the Cal Poly Foundation.

Until Armstrong’s hiring, the university’s published salary range for campus presidents was $223,584 to $328,212.

Cal Poly administrators currently make an average salary of $107,000, according to the faculty union. Lecturers make an average of $31,000, and the average professor receives $80,000.

Faculty members received an $80 a month increase in 2013-2014, their first raise in six years. Another 1.6 percent raise followed this year, with some lower-paid faculty members receiving a 3 percent pay increase, according to the union.

In all, most faculty members’ salaries increased by 3 percent between 2010 and 2014.

The union is preparing for CSU negotiations on a contract for the upcoming fiscal year. On Thursday, the union presented a letter to Armstrong calling for a rollback of administration pay to 2010 levels and a system linking any future pay hikes to matching increases for faculty.

Armstrong said there are $2.5 million set aside for faculty and staff equity pay increases over the next four years. He said the funds are not enough to distribute to every faculty group each year, and the university will start with the groups that need it the most.

Previous Cal Poly president Warren Baker is currently San Luis Obispo County’s highest earning pensioner. Baker received a $250,687 pension in 2013, which was the 20th-highest in the CalPERS system.


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10 Comments

  1. JB Bronson says:

    Teachers wanting more money because Admin. makes more money, misses the mark.

    What are the teachers worth? What is Admin. worth? vs. “We should get more money because they get more money”.

    The formula repeats itself until we can’t afford any of them. I doubt Armstrong is worth his salary and benefits. He isn’t President of the United States.

    (9) 13 Total Votes - 11 up - 2 down
    • jimmy_me says:

      The problem is that faculty are lied to. There is never enough money for anything at Cal Poly, except raising admin salaries and hiring more administrators (and building hotels, convention centers, etc). Cal Poly is a school; it needs more instructors. Armstrong’s actions undermine the basic mission of Cal Poly, which is to teach students. If money is short, it should be short for everyone?

      And speaking of Cal Poly’s basic mission… I’m wondering why the fact that the large growth in out -of-state students is off everyone’s radar. Allowing in more out of state students to attend Cal Poly generates more income for Cal Poly but removes spots from California residents who have paid into the system. This is unethical.

      (14) 16 Total Votes - 15 up - 1 down
  2. Willow says:

    Armstrong’s a selfish pig, as is anyone who’s on the government dole…

    The whole concept of oppressing your fellow man by forcibly taking from them in the form of taxation to grotesquely benefit yourself with over-the-top salaries, benefits, perks, retirement packages …… and to have the audacity to think others somehow “owe” you a comfortable life, far better than those you are forcibly oppressing, long after you’ve stopped working is the epitome of a selfish pig.

    And on the other side of the spectrum we’ve got those who do absolutely nothing, who somehow think they have the ‘right’ to have government agents forcibly take from their fellow man so they don’t have to get off their b-hinds and do something productive….

    And yes, it is by force. Just stop paying the property tax that funds ‘education’ (institutions of dumbed down brainwashing) and see what happens. Or refuse to pay off IRS thugs and find out how the government mafia gets off on destroying your life’s work.

    The entire notion that ‘for the good’ of anyone somehow has the ‘right’ to oppress and destroy another person and their lifelong work is beyond comprehension. Yet the stupid American sheeple go right along with it; whining, but still, going along.

    What was it they said during the French Revolution? “Off with their heads!!”

    (2) 16 Total Votes - 9 up - 7 down
  3. achillesheal says:

    Maybe next week the grounds keepers can picket against the faculty. Then the bookstore employees can picket against the grounds crew.

    How do these professors have time to picket while on the job? Aren’t they supposed to be spending their time molding young minds full of mush?

    (-11) 43 Total Votes - 16 up - 27 down
  4. Dirk Anderson says:

    Is this “Faculty” as in Academic Staff? as in Professors? or some of the general union slugs I used to see floating around the area? During the breaks when I used the Library I had several of them annoy me (waste your own time). Appears there are plenty of people with a lot of time on their hands.

    I don’t care for the Cal Poly “Vibe”. Even though it is not really a research institution I would have expected more passion and synergy. “Mill” aspect (esp. cash flow) is glaringly obvious. Next generation of puppets to get on the merry-go-round (good luck, let me know when you have something knew and interesting to tell me?).

    Armstrong makes more than the Governor? Did not some Provost retire on 200K a year? Pinch me or correct me if I’m wrong?

    I don’t have a pot to piss in, but I have passion and synergy (no dead beats), enough to sustain until the day I croak.

    (1) 25 Total Votes - 13 up - 12 down
  5. kayaknut says:

    You have to love Jeffrey Armstrong’s comment during a tv interview, basically he said it’s not how the pie is sectioned, it’s that we need a bigger pie. Typically attitude for someone completely out of touch with the real world. He thinks everything would be better if he just had more money.

    (49) 51 Total Votes - 50 up - 1 down
    • smile4thecamera says:

      Yes, he was shifting the blame. “Oh gee, the state won’t give us more money for salaries and the administrators are paid from different sources.” Something is really wrong with their pay structure, and yes, Armstrong is out of touch. The guy makes $350K per year – he has no idea.

      (35) 35 Total Votes - 35 up - 0 down
      • Rich in MB says:

        Income Inequality…only counts in the Private Sector…look the other way when a Public Hack is in the 1%.

        (14) 22 Total Votes - 18 up - 4 down
  6. tomsquawk says:

    some things never change

    (17) 19 Total Votes - 18 up - 1 down
  7. Rich in MB says:

    Boooo Hoooooo
    Let them go out into the Free Market workforce if they don’t like their pay….then they will find out what the real world is all about! Unless of course they get a job for the City/County of SLO…they it’s right back to Fantasy land with pay and benefits.

    “Some Pigs are more equal than others”
    You would think a well trained education faculty would know and understand that!

    (3) 61 Total Votes - 32 up - 29 down

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