Cal Poly admits miscalculating administrator pay

March 3, 2016
President Jeffrey Armstrong

President Jeffrey Armstrong

Cal Poly officials have admitted to miscalculating administrator pay in a report released last month. University officials initially said administrator pay decreased last year, but it actually increased, according to Cal Poly’s new figures. [Tribune]

In February, Cal Poly released a report stating administrator pay decreased by $71,000 from Oct. 2014 to Oct. 2015. The university now says administrator pay rose by $93,000 year over year.

The $164,000 error occurred due to miscalculations relating to 14 positions.

Cal Poly’s faculty union, which is currently threatening to take part in a CSU system-wide strike, has recently criticized the university’s increase in spending on administrative pay since President Jeffrey Armstrong took over in 2011.

University officials say Cal Poly added 21 management positions between Oct. 2014 and Oct. 2015. The $93,000 increase in administrator pay is due to replacements, retirements, the creation of new positions and the reclassification of others, according to the university.

Faculty union president Graham Archer said an additional 21 positions is administrative bloat. Archer also said $93,000 is understating the cost of adding those jobs. The cost may total $1 million, Archer said.

Armstrong said 66 administrators were hired between 2010 and 2014. Of those hirings, 74 percent were for lower level positions with an average salary of $75,098, Armstrong said.

Cal Poly’s president also said the university was hit by the Great Recession prior to his arrival and was at its lowest point in number of employees.

Archer said administrators keep on breeding like bunnies.

In 2014-2015, Cal Poly employed 245 people in management positions, according to the university. The total compensation for those positions was $33.6 million.

The CSU’s faculty union is currently in a bargaining dispute with the system’s chancellor’s office. Union representatives are demanding a 5 percent salary hike for CSU faculty members, while the chancellor’s office is offering a 2 percent salary increase.

Faculty union officials are planing a five-day strike in April if their demands are not met.


Armstrong makes almost twice as much as the Governor, with his wages benefits and perks. I don’t believe his job is twice as complicated. Time to ratchet his wages down about 5 % a year until they’re in a reasonable range. He receives about $30,000 a month, so a loss of $15,000 shouldn’t deprive him of any necessary family staples.


Remember, no one in the history of the planet ever applied to Cal Poly because they heard it had a good administration. It’s a school. The teachers are what make the school what it is. The good reputation earned by Cal Poly was a result of teachers, not administrators.


I had tenure track professors ten years ago and the education was despicable then. Cuesta was much better in terms of caring professors.


Here’s the reason. Cal Poly rewards profs who obtain grants, publish papers, and kiss ass. If you’re writing grants and publishing papers, you’re essentially ignoring students. There is no incentive to put time or effort into teaching as doing so will not help you get a promotion. Kissing ass takes the least amount of time and effort, which is why so many profs are very skilled at playing the game but are horrible instructors.


The best and the brightest?


I was at Bull’s Tavern the other day, and this guy yells out, “Who wants a teaching job at Cal Poly?”

The problem is worse than anyone is reporting. Armstrong justifies admin bloat by stating the money came from donations. I’m sure those people who were donating were unaware their donations would be used to hire administrators. The $75,000 average salary is higher than the starting salary of full-time instructors. Hey Mr. Armstrong, it’s a teaching institution, let’s focus on hiring teachers! But hey, Armstrong is saving money by replacing retiring full-time faculty with part-time instructors; the part-timers have no vested interest in the long-term health of the university. And why should they… they get sh%t for wages.

Thanks to the admin getting their slice of the pie first, the quality of instruction has suffered. Most all of my graduating students say the same thing… Once they get an internship or job upon graduation, they report back on how woefully out-of-date the education is at Cal Poly. It’s really embarrassing. This reminds me of SLO in general, where we never have enough water for anything, but seem to have plenty when we need to build a new subdivision. Cal Poly never seems to have enough money to enhance the quality of education but have plenty to bloat the admin and the admin salaries. We need to offer high salaries to obtain the best and brightest admin, but hire just about any warm body to teach classes.

And lastly, the biggest lie may be the number of non-resident students at Cal Poly. If you’re kid wants to get into Cal Poly, the best option would be to move out-of-state and apply. Your hard-earned CA state taxes are being used to educate non-resident students. These numbers are purposely hidden.

Cathy S.

Some great points there. You can find he out of state information in the Fact Book, they have removed it pretty much every where else. It says the number has increased from 10.5% in 2011 (Armstrong hired after that class was accepted) to 18.9% in 2015, I expect the number to rise to 20% for Fall 2016. I believe somewhere I found the stats for out of state students, and it is easier to get in with lower GPAs and test scores. Not sure I agree on it being so out of date, but that is not a reflection of Armstrong, it is a reflection of the dedication of those who still teach.


“Armstrong said 66 administrators were hired between 2010 and 2014. Of those hirings, 74 percent were for lower level positions with an average salary of $75,098.” I want to be in a lower level position! How many of you out there make that when you start up with a company?


And don’t forget it is 75k for life yet they only work 30 years and only 75% during those years!


And most don’t work very hard while they are there.