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28 CSU execs get pay raise

by Staff

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The California State University board of trustees passed a 4 percent salary increase for 28 of its executives during its board meeting yesterday in Long Beach, despite criticism from state legislators and faculty members.

The approved compensation will be given to CSU Chancellor Charles Reed, four top CSU officials and the 23 CSU campus presidents, including San Diego State President Stephen Weber. Weber currently makes $261,744, according to the CSU Web site.

“There is never a good time to make a recommendation for administrators’ compensation,” said Reed, adding that he had deferred making a recommendation for several months. “I have talked with a lot of people over the last six or eight weeks about this, including several legislators. Some of the legislators agreed that it was not good timing. Other legislators said, ‘Chancellor, you need to do what you need to do.'”

Reed said the salary increase is well-deserved and overdue. Although CSU university presidents were last given a pay increase in October 2005 that included housing and car allowance, Reed said CSU presidents are “currently 44 percent below market in comparison to their peer institutions” based on a report by CSU salary consultant Mercer Human Resources Consulting.

“This recommendation of 4 percent will not make any headway on the market adjustment,” said Reed, who presented the executive compensation recommendation to the board as the last item of the day. “The 4 percent is exactly the same amount of compensation that we’ve recommended for our faculty in this current year.”

But some CSU faculty members are still waiting on their increases because of holdings in bargaining contracts and negotiations.

Reed also said the pay increase would not be tied to student tuition increases, citing that state legislators and CSU bought out those fees.

However, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger released a state budget earlier this month that called for a 10 percent tuition increase. Schwarzenegger made many CSU students happy by halting fee increases last year, but some critics say it was merely a ploy during election year.

Only honorary trustee and Lt. Gov. John Garamendi openly opposed the action during the meeting.

“While there may be no good time, there’s clearly bad times to make a move such as this,” Garamendi said. “I agree with all that’s been said about the need for adequate pay and competitive pay. However, there are several major issues confronting this university and they are before the legislature and the governor. It’s very clear from communication, both written and oral, that key legislators are very concerned about the timing of this increase.”

Garamendi said Reed is wrong to think this salary increase will not affect student fees given the state’s current financial situation and budget issues. He said the increase will only “poison the well” between the already contentious faculty negotiations.

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