While we starve, Chancellor Reed tells us to eat cake

California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed, left, and AT&T California President Ken McNeely speak to Valley High School students outside the CSU’s Road to College bus at Valley High School in Sacramento, Calif. Wednesday morning, Sept. 10. Photo by Steve McKay
California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed, left, and AT&T California President Ken McNeely speak to Valley High School students outside the CSU’s Road to College bus at Valley High School in Sacramento, Calif. Wednesday morning, Sept. 10. Photo by Steve McKay

Everyone is upset at CSUN over the recent difficulty getting classes, delayed graduations, fee hikes and teacher furloughs.  Unfortunately, not enough of us are asking WHY this is happening.

Some of our trusted servants running the CSU system, the ones supposed to be looking out for us, would rather line their own pockets at our expense.  One such example is CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed, who is morphing before our eyes into Chancellor Bernie Madoff.

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans was held at the Orange Grove Bistro last Wednesday.  According to Yazmin Cruz’s Daily Sundial article, this initiative started at CSUN in 1990.  Our Latino students have subsequently had higher than expected graduation rates.

Many of the Latino students  were from Students for Quality Education (SQE).  Over a dozen of them held signs saying things like “Stop Raising My Tuition”.  Executive Director of the program Juan Sepulveda, and CSUN President Jolene Koester were both there to take the heat.  But, Chancellor Reed couldn’t make it.
This was a golden opportunity for him to lobby a representative of the Obama White House for emergency funds for our schools.  I wonder what he was doing that was more important than showing up to support these outstanding students.  He was probably too busy kickin’ it in his jammies watching Family Guy.

Reed didn’t comment for Cruz’s article.  I think it’s logical to assume he didn’t want to deal with SQE’s anger he’s reaped by the tuition hikes and enrollment cuts he has sown.  What a slap in the face.

Chancellor Reed has no problem enjoying his $424,548 a year salary which you and I pay for, yet he can’t seem to handle some struggling students protesting education cuts which endanger their futures.  This kind of two-faced hypocrisy is nothing new for the Chancellor, however.

According to Jim Doyle’s July 6th San Francisco Chronicle article, in 2006 Reed really broke the bank.  Our faithful public servant gave golden parachutes of “millions of dollars in extra compensation to campus presidents and other top executives as they left their posts.”  AIG style taxpayer funded executive bonuses, nice!

Chancellor Madoff is trying to turn the CSU into a Ponzi Scheme, simply to enrich his fellow executives in the system.  If anyone deserves a bonus, it’s our hard working professors and janitorial staff right here at Cal State Northridge.

Nicole Wilcox’s September 24, 2007 Sundial piece, describes Reed’s George W. Bush style jack move in approving more executive salary increases for the CSU Presidents.  This time they were for an average of 11.8%.  He then put on his sad face and announced a 10% student fee hike for 2008-09.

In November of 2008 Reed tried to make it into the pages of the Wall Street Journal by tossing around taxpayer money to the CSU Vice Presidents.  Merrill Balassone’s Modesto Bee article details the pay raises of “up to 19 percent” for nine vice presidents at four campuses.

Then, came one of the most startling examples of how out of touch Chancellor Madoff is with the reality of the pain and struggle the students go through.  Also in 2008, he approved the appointments of 11 new Vice Presidents…with starting salaries of up to $225,000 a year.  Simultaneously, he announced an admissions cut of 10,000 students for 2009-10.  Maybe it’s time for an executive hiring/bonus freeze?  I’m starting to wonder if Charles B. Reed is the Chancellor of the CSU or the CEO of Goldman Sachs.

Doyle’s article also describes how Chancellor Reed’s office retains high price lobbyists hired in Halliburton style no bid contracts.  The total cost has been $2 million in taxpayer funds over his 10 years in office.  The CSU already retains a $1.1 million “in-house lobbying unit” he’s supposed to be using.  What’s going on here?
What was he paying Capitol Advocacy LLC and Sloat Higgins Jensen & Associates to lobby for, besides funding for financial aid?  Ask Trent Hager.

He’s the chief of staff for Assemblyman Anthony Portantino of La Canada Flintridge.  Hager told the Chronicle the CSU “paid the lobbying firms in 2007 to derail his boss’ bill aimed at full disclosure of CSU salaries”.  “They got it sidetracked and killed,” he said.

That’s like making someone pay in advance for the bullet that’s going to kill them… that’s just bad taste.

Correction:

Yesterday’s opinion article “While we starve, the Chancellor tells us to eat cake” by Joseph Glatzer, stated that the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans started at CSUN in 1990.  It started at the White House in 1990.  In addition Latino students were not honored.  They were there to address the 32 percent fee increase among other problems students face because of the budget cuts.