CSU Increases “Fees” While San Diego State Increases Administrative Salaries

The CSU Board has just responded to the budget cuts of about $650 million by increasing tuition again:

Today trustees approved a 12 percent increase that comes on top of a 10 percent increase approved last year. Combined, the two increases bring undergraduate tuition at CSU’s 23 campuses to $5,472 a year. That’s an increase of about 23 percent compared with last year, and does not include campus-based fees that average $950 a year. (SacBee)

So, yay for low taxes, right? Oh, hope you didn’t have any kids at your local CSU, because that is a big-time bummer, huh?

At the same time, Gov. Brown is also asking San Diego State to reconsider the additional $100K they want to pay their new president:

Gov. Jerry Brown has sent a letter to California State University trustees asking them to reconsider plans to give the new president of San Diego State a salary that would be $100,000 higher than his predecessor’s.

The board is gathered in Long Beach today to take up a number of issues, including setting compensation for Elliot Hirshman, the new president of San Diego State, and raising student tuition by 12 percent.

At the very least this is some very bad optics.  The $300,000 salary that the outgoing president probably could have gotten a qualified candidate without taking the PR hit of a huge increase to $400,000 per year.  

The Board apparently came up with their figures through studying other institutions and their salary patterns, but to be honest, now is somoe really bad timing to even bring pay up to market.  Brown pretty much had to say something about this new arrangement.

The Administrators and Trustees of the UC/CSUs could probably make better money in other jobs, I don’t really debate that.  But it is hard to argue to janitors who are taking pay cuts and students facing 24% increases that administrators need that additional salary.

3 thoughts on “CSU Increases “Fees” While San Diego State Increases Administrative Salaries”

  1. I’m simply not convinced any college president should get paid as much as the president of the United States. I’m not convinced they’re worth that much. I’ve certainly never known a student or parent who made a college decision based on who the president is.

    I’ve heard the argument that some are great fundraisers–and that universities today need that. Fair enough. But it seems like it would be a better deal to hire an outside organization that specializes in fundraising and give them a commission. Then the administrators could focus education and on running a great college.  

    And if they can really earn more somewhere else, they should go there. I don’t know where the universities are that can afford that kind of salary. Maybe the private Ivy League schools. But the CSUs clearly can’t. If there are openings for this sort high-priced talent elsewhere, they should go there instead. I don’t think it’s a good value for a CSU. And I agree that the PR is awful.

  2. When I was a college freshman, UC tuition was about half that, and I think CSU was well less than $1000.

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