The CSU board of trustees will vote today on a proposal that will cap state-funded pay for incoming CSU presidents’ salaries and supplement it with nonprofit campus foundations.
The CSU’s new proposal comes about after several weeks of heavy criticism from students and the California Faculty Association (CFA).
If passed, the portion of presidents’ salaries that come from taxpayer’s money will remain frozen at the current level, and instead be supplemented with foundation money, which comes from donors.
Stephanie Thara, web communication specialist for the CSU, said the proposal came about after the legislature and public expressed they were upset with the current policy.
“We’re listening to the public and trying to make everyone happy,” Thara said.
The student hunger strikes that have taken place across six campuses did not influence the proposal, according to Thara.
Alice Sunshine, communications director for CFA and San Francisco State alumna, said the person who makes the most money may not be the best person to fulfill the purpose of a public university, which is to help the state have educated people and help people rise to a stable economic level and expand ideas – not to make money.
“It’s being publicized as ‘oh, we’re freezing their pay,’ and that’s a response to the criticism they’ve been getting, but they’re switching over to these foundations and saying ‘don’t worry about this because it’s not your money, it’s donations from other people or companies,’ but it’s still a public university even if people donate,” Sunshine said.
According to Sunshine, there is no limit on how much of the foundation money can be used to supplement salaries.
“The CFA has been asking the CSU if there is any foundation money to keep classes going, and they always say it has all these restrictions on it, but suddenly there is no restrictions on using it for presidents, that’s interesting,” Sunshine said.