CSU presidential salaries capped

by Tara Millspaugh

Dustin Michelson, Staff Photographer
Dustin Michelson, Staff Photographer

The Board of Trustees has officially placed a salary cap on newly hired presidents of all California State Universities. The new policy at hand states, “Compensation paid by state general funds for newly hired CSU presidents to be no more than 10 percent above the previous incumbent’s base pay.”

This change of policy resulted from the controversy regarding the salary of San Diego State President Elliot Hirshman. His annual salary of $400,000 is $100,000 more than that of his predecessor, Dr. Stephen L. Weber.

If this policy had been enacted before Hirshman was hired last year, his base pay would be capped at $325,000.

California Gov. Jerry Brown and several statewide officials were outraged to learn that the Board of Trustees had passed Hirshman’s salary, calling it “excessive.”

Brown said there should not be such a disproportionate raise for Hirshman and other CSU presidents during California’s budget crisis.

CSU Board Chair Herbert Carter said with this new salary cap the board will hire competent and qualified presidents while adhering to realistic budget constraints.

Along with the salary cap, the Board of Trustees has also approved a new comparator list to determine the incoming president’s compensation. Previously, there was a 40 percent salary gap between presidents on the list who made as much as $2 million annually, compared to CSU presidents who made only $280,000, according to a news release.

“The new compensation limits, and the more relevant tiered list of comparator institutions, will give stakeholders a good benchmark of where presidential compensation will be set as we move forward,” Carter said.

The new policy is being implemented as Fullerton, Northridge, San Bernardino, San Francisco and California Maritime Academy are in search of new presidents.