SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – There is a growing backlash over the decision by the California State University Board of Trustees to pay the new president of San Diego State University some $100,000 more than his predecessor.

The decision to bump the salary of new San Diego State University President Elliot Hirshman to $400,000 came on the same day as trustees approved a 12 percent tuition hike for the fall semester.

State Senator Ted Lieu has sent a letter to the board urging that they rescind that decision.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

“It shows that they care more right now about lavish salaries than they do about students or faculty,” said Lieu.

The state senator said that he will propose a future cap on CSU administrative salaries.

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer said he is also concerned.

“It’s puzzling, particularly when there are tuition increases and other cuts and layoffs,” Lockyer said.

California State University spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp said that there’s never a good time to raise tuition or to cut corners on leadership.

“The compensation reflects the fact that CSU needs to be able to offer fair market compensation for its employees, respective to their experience and skills,” he said.

Governor Jerry Brown said he is also concerned about what he calls “the ever-escalating pay packages” for the system’s top administrators.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (5)
  1. Milan Moravec says:

    Words achieve NOTHING. Wage concessions are due at CSU and UC, Right now. University of California faces massive budget shortfalls. It is dismaying Calif. Governor Brown. President Yudof and Board of Regents have, once again, been unable to agree on a package of wage, benefit concessions to close the deficit.
    Californians face foreclosure, unemployment, depressed wages, loss of retirement, medical, unemployment benefits, higher taxes: UC Board of Regents Regent Lansing, President Yudof need to demonstrated leadership by curbing wages, benefits. As a Californian, I don’t care what others earn at private, public universities. If wages better elsewhere, chancellors, vice chancellors, tenured, non tenured faculty, UCOP should apply for the positions. If wages commit employees to UC, leave for better paying position. The sky above UC will not fall.
    Californians suffer from greatest deficit of modern times. UC wages must reflect California’s ability to pay, not what others are paid. Campus chancellors, tenured & non-tenured faculty, UCOP are replaceable by more talented academics
    Wage concessions for UC President, Faculty, Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, UCOP:
    No furloughs
    18 percent reduction in UCOP salaries & $50 million cut.
    18 percent prune of campus chancellors’, vice chancellors’ salaries.
    15 percent trim of tenured faculty salaries, increased teaching load
    10 percent decrease in non-tenured faculty salaries, as well as increase research, teaching load
    100% elimination of all Academic Senate, Academic Council costs, wages.

    (17,000 UC paid employees earn more than $100,000)

    Overly optimistic predictions of future revenues do not solve the deficit. However, rose bushes bloom after pruning.

    UC Board of Regents Sherry Lansing, President Yudof can bridge the public trust gap by offering reassurances that UC salaries reflect depressed wages in California. The sky will not fall on UC

    Once again, we call upon UC President, Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Faculty, UCOP to stand up for UC and ‘pitch in’ for Californians with deeds – wage concessions.

  2. William says:

    Elitists, that’s what the politicians and administers of California are and no matter how much we taxpayers whine and complain, it ALWAYS falls upon deaf ears. Rhetoric from politicians is just that. False promises made on our behalf to reform, legislate, investigate this or that is just another ploy to get reelected. What’s new? Guess we’ll just have to fork over more of our hard earned money so the administrators can maintain their lavish lifestyles and we can forgo our aspirations for a higher education and a better life.

    1. mechanic says:

      Very well stated, Will. I do think that most clear thinking taxpayers are finally coming around to the realization that it is time to make their concerns known more vocally(?) It will all come to a head in the next couple of years. Many institutions of higher learning will be “going under” along with the countless businesses that can not make it in this environment.

  3. Milan Moravec says:

    Criticism of University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau. Runaway spending. University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau ($500,000 salary) has forgotten that he is a California public servant, steward of the public money, not overseer of his own fiefdom.

    Recruits (using California tax $) out of state, foreign $50,000 tuition students who displace qualified sons, daughters of Californians from public university
    Spends $7,000,000 + for consultants to do his & vice chancellors work
    (prominent East Coast University accomplishing same 0 cost).
    University accrues $150 million of inefficiencies over his 8 year reign.
    Pays ex Michigan governor $300,000 for lectures.
    In procuring $3,000,000 consultants failed to receive proposals from other firms.
    Latino enrollment drops while out of state jumps 2010.
    Tuition to Return on Investment drops below top10.
    NCAA places basketball program on probation: absence institutional control.

    These are not isolated examples: it’s all shameful. There is no justification for such actions by a steward of the public trust. Absolutely none. Like with an addiction, admitting you have a problem is the first step toward correcting it.

    Birgeneau’s practices will not change. UC Board of Regents Chair Sherry Lansing must do a better job of vigorously enforcing oversight by President Yudof than has been done in the past to Chancellors who, like Birgeneau, treat the university as their fiefdom.

    Until demonstrable action is swiftly applied to chancellors by the UC Board of Regents/President Yudof, the University of California shouldn’t come to the Governor or public for support for any taxes, additional funding.

    I have 35 years’ consulting experience, have taught at UC Berkeley, where I observed the culture & the way senior management works. No, I was not fired or downsized & have not solicited contracts from Cal.