Hirshman speaks about the salary increase controversy

by Bill Crotty

Hirshman’s salary was not something negotiated by the president himself. According to Hirshman, executive recruiters provided general information about salary and other factors when contacting potential candidates. He also said candidates gain a general understanding of compensation based on the publicly available salaries of presidents at peer institutions, or others in the same system such as those at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

“I can say with certainty that I am humbled and honored to have been selected as the president of SDSU,” Hirshman said. “The (CSU) chancellor and trustees conducted salary surveys and set the potential compensation for the next president based on SDSU’s position as a national research university.”

An incentive-based compensation where his salary would increase based on performance is an idea the CSU board may have considered, but Hirshman said he would not take any action that may undermine the trustees’ decision. Promising a lower salary himself could do just that.

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He agreed that the timing of the CSU board’s decision is problematic, but in an effort to move forward and show students how he would prove the board’s decision an appropriate one, Hirshman said he would focus on what is being asked for: additional funding.
“I will do everything I possibly can to support students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners of SDSU,” Hirshman said. “To speak specifically about one priority initiative that will impact students, I will be working with colleagues throughout the university to aggressively pursue private funds to support scholarships and student success with initiatives.”