Trustees consider freezing Cal State presidents' salaries

LONG BEACH, Calif. - The salaries of new Cal State University presidents would be frozen at the level of their predecessors under a policy expected to be reviewed by the CSU Board of Trustees Wednesday, but private foundations would be permitted to raise funds on their own to increase the compensation by up to  10 percent.

The proposal was approved unanimously Tuesday by the board's Special Committee on Presidential Selection and Compensation Policy despite protests being staged outside the meeting by students, teachers and others who said all available money -- even private dollars -- should be used to reduce tuition or hike teacher salaries, not pay executives.

During the committee meeting, members insisted they were freezing presidential salaries since no additional tax money would be put toward compensation.

Donations from private foundations to supplement salaries would be voluntary and decided upon at the campus-level, and there was no guarantee such supplements would be offered, committee members said.

The policy indicates that such salary boosts offered by private foundations could be provided "to retain the best leader." Opponents, however, said the policy is just another way to bolster executives' salaries.

"As I said last week when the chancellor proposed this new policy, it is nothing more than smoke and mirrors disguised as reform," said Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco.

"Today's action ... only further solidifies the fact that they are more committed to their executives than California students and families."

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