Trustees of the Cal State University system Tuesday approved 4% salary raises for the 23 campus presidents and five other top officials.
The move, retroactive to July, was strongly opposed by the faculty union, which is in stalled salary negotiations with the university. "I'm disappointed. I think it sends a signal to everybody that the priorities of the board are with a relatively small group of people," said John Travis, president of the California Faculty Assn.
With the raises, most of those administrators will earn well over $240,000 a year, but trustees said that their average pay remains significantly lower than at comparable institutions nationwide.
The lone no vote was cast by Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, a trustee by virtue of his office. He urged a delay until after decisions about possible student fee hikes and faculty pay are made in coming months. "For certain, this will even further poison that very contentious issue," Garamendi said of the pay hike's effect on faculty contract talks.
However, trustee board Chairwoman Roberta Achtenberg told the board, meeting at system headquarters in Long Beach, that the raises were necessary to recruit good leaders. "It's nothing to be defensive about or ashamed of," she said.
Under the plan, the salary of system Chancellor Charles B. Reed would rise to $377,000.