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Cal State Chancellor's 43% Raise Draws Fire

December 22, 1989|LARRY GORDON | TIMES EDUCATION WRITER

Cal State's faculty union is strongly protesting a 43% salary increase--to $195,000--that system Chancellor W. Ann Reynolds will receive on Jan. 1. On the same date, the top professors' pay increases 4.8% to about $55,500.

"This is an absolute outrage," Robert Gurian, legislative advocate for the California Faculty Assn., said of the raise for Reynolds and increases of 21% to 28% for 27 other top Cal State administrators.

Patrick Nichelson, president of the union that represents professors at the 20 Cal State campuses, said he may ask the Legislature to consider trimming the salary hikes for Reynolds and the other administrators. "With these salaries that come from the Milky Way, I think our motivation to look into the administrative budget is all the stronger," he said.

The pay increases were approved by the California State University Board of Trustees in a closed-door session last month, officials said. No formal announcement was intended until after Jan. 1, but word of the hikes circulated Thursday through union and legislative circles.

Cal State officials confirmed the pay increases and said the raises were intended to bring salaries in line with those at comparable institutions and corporations around the nation. In addition, they said recent difficulties in attracting new Cal State campus presidents showed that the hikes were needed.

"You try to be competitive at every level," explained Caesar J. Naples, the Cal State system's vice chancellor for faculty and staff relations. "But to say that the chancellor's salary or (campus) presidents' salaries ought to be based on the faculty market is not realistic. There is an egalitarian attractiveness to that argument, but it is not realistic when you are going out in the world to hire people."

Reynold's new salary of $195,000--up from $136,248--is in addition to a rent-free house and a $300 monthly entertainment budget. In comparison, UC system President David P. Gardner earns $230,600, up 7.2% from last year. According to a survey presented to the Cal State trustees before they approved Reynolds' salary, the chancellor of New York State's university system receives $180,000; the president of the University of Texas system, more than $200,000; the president of New York University, $237,000; and the president of Boston University, $245,000.

Those salaries should also be put in the context of the salaries of top business leaders, Cal State Executive Vice Chancellor Herbert L. Carter said. The Cal State system has a $2-billion annual budget, a student body of 355,000 and more than 20,000 teachers--making a rival to many of the biggest private enterprises. "I'm sure the (new) salaries are not out of line with the responsibility of administering such a large system as this," Carter said.

Reynolds could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Salary increases approved last month for the 27 other Cal State administrators are: from $117,000 to $150,000 for Carter; from $117,000 to $145,000 for the six vice chancellors; and from a range of $107,000 to $112,000 now to $130,000 for the 20 campus presidents. Five of the campus presidents receive free housing, and the rest receive housing allowances of between $300 and $1,200 a month, officials said.

An education expert in the state legislative analyst's office said Thursday that the Cal State trustees were within their rights to approve the increases, but he added that it is "quite likely" to receive tough scrutiny in the Legislature's budget debates in the spring. "I think this would certainly flag some attention," he said.

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