CSU board approves Hirshman salary, tuition hike

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Tuition at California State University schools will be going up 12 percent this fall, the Board of Trustees decided Tuesday, and a roughly $400,000 pay package for San Diego State's new president won preliminary approval.

Trustees insisted the tuition hike is needed to make up for cuts in state funding.

“The enormous reduction to our state funding has left us with no other choice if we are to maintain quality and access to the CSU,” Chancellor Charles B. Reed said. “We will focus on serving our current students by offering as many classes and course sections as possible.

“We will also be able to open enrollment for the spring 2012 term, which is critical for our community college transfer students,” he said.

The 12 percent hike will add $294 to the one-semester cost of attending a CSU school, beginning in the fall. The increase means a full-time undergrad will pay $5,472 per year, with campus fees expected to bring the total cost to about $6,422.

According to CSU, the recently adopted state budget cut funding to the university system by a total of about $650 million. Funding for 23-campus university system could be reduced another $100 million in December if state revenues fall short of projections, CSU officials said.

The board's Committee on Faculty and University Personnel voted 4-2 to forward the salary package for SDSU President Elliot Hirshman to the full board, which will consider it this afternoon.

Hirshman, who took over for Stephen Weber July 5, stands to get a salary of $350,000, plus university housing and a $1,000-per-month car allowance. He will also get $50,000 per year from the university's foundation, a proposal that still needs the full board's approval.

Gov. Jerry Brown sent the board chairman, Herbert Carter, a letter criticizing the “ever-escalating pay packages” given to top CSU administrators.

“I fear your approach to compensation is setting a pattern for public service that we cannot afford,” Brown wrote.

The governor said it is not right to raise administrator salaries when public school teachers are being let go and senior centers are closing.

Hirshman's pay would be well above the nearly $300,000 former SDSU President Stephen Weber was paid annual and just below Cal State Chancellor Charles Reed's salary of $421,500.

The median total compensation for public college presidents in 2009-10 was $375,442, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Categories: KUSI