LONG BEACH (CBS) — Members of the California State University Board of Trustees will meet Tuesday to discuss what the university will do to increase revenue if voters reject tax initiatives in November, which will create $250 million in cuts.
CSU students and members of the California Faculty Association plan to stage a demonstration outside the meeting to protest potential pay raises for three incoming CSU presidents at three campuses.
Protestors are using signs that say they want “money for education not administration”.
“In order for us to bring in the best and the brightest, to not only recruit and retain them, we need to be able to pay them competitive compensation packages,” CSU spokesman Michael Uhlenkamp tells CBS2.
“They talk a lot about having the best and the brightest, but apparently that only means the campus presidents, because they certainly don’t pay anybody else competitively. So I’m a little confused by the notion we need the best and brightest managers and just mediocre employees,” Professor Steven Filling says.
KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports one CSU professor believes these protests are on the rise due to higher wages for campus presidents at a time of widespread cutbacks throughout the system.
“Professors are becoming much more activist because they’re concerned about what’s happening to students,” said Dr. Terry Yamata, Professor of Asian Studies at CSU Long Beach. “Tuition has increased and faculty size has gone up.”
The salary hikes would be paid for by private donations, but some say that money should be spent elsewhere.
“The foundation or the fundraising portion of the university has made the decision this is the investment they believe in, so they would want to be able to find that supplement for this university leader,” Uhlenkamp says.
According to CSU, the 427,000-student system’s state funding was cut by more than $1 billion over the past four years, while enrollment demand continued to increase.
CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed announced in May that he will retire after 14 years. Reed was often the target of protests by student activists angered by rising tuition, as well as teachers upset over salary and benefit issues.
An angry protest broke out last November after the board voted to raise tuition for the 23 CSU campuses.