Last fall, CSU trustees voted to raise tuition by 8 percent for undergraduate students and, while there is an obvious need for more resources on many CSU campuses, the money is most definitely not going toward programs, campus upkeep or, most importantly, the maintenance of a quality faculty. No. Instead, the salaries of 27 top administrators has skyrocketed by 13 percent.
In contrast, CSU faculty members got a 3.5 percent raise, which, when one calculates salary based on inflation, is actually a decrease in many cases.
And this miniscule of pay increases is not only too little, but it is also too late. Studies have shown that some of the brightest professors have fled the CSU system in search of better compensation. This is the first pay increase the faculty members have received in three years and they are outraged, and rightfully so.
While the administrators are receiving a 13 percent raise of around $200,000 to $280,000, faculty members are receiving a mere 3.5 percent raise of, at the very highest, $86,107.
This is simply pathetic. While there is some truth to the theory that, in order to maintain a high quality faculty, a university must well-compensate the administration, this is just costing students the opportunity to receive a comparable education.
In many cases, the top administrators are receiving more in housing subsidies than the CSU professors, who are often times receiving such little compensation that they are forced to look elsewhere for work.
With the 8 percent increase in student costs, the students are carrying the burden. And what do students care about the administrations’ housing conditions when, with our 8 percent hike in tuition and fees, many of us are struggling to buy books, gas and top ramen while the administration is raking in more then $200,000 in salary alone?
The Mission Statement of the California State University claims that in order “to accomplish its mission over time and under changing conditions, the California State University emphasizes quality in instruction.” We need to ask them to define the word “emphasize.”
Does “emphasize” to them mean students should attend junior colleges because their professors are better paid and therefore are, in increasing amounts, better qualified? Or does it mean, “Yes, we are a university and therefore we are forced to say that we ’emphasize’ quality instruction but you can’t make us actually pay for such instruction!”
Well, then, if the CSU system isn’t going to put their money where their mouth is, maybe they should change their mission statement. Instead, it should say that in order “to accomplish its mission over time and under changing conditions, the California State University emphasizes quality instruction and it is for this reason that the university encourages students to head on over to the local community college, because they insure quality education by fairly compensating their teaching staff.”
That sounds much more accurate. But I think that instead of changing their mission statement, many of us would just prefer them to change their budget in order to reflect such priorities and pay for the quality education of which they claim to be so highly supportive.