Gloria Takes Aim at CSU Executive Pay Raises

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Assemblymember Gloria Proposes Bill Forbidding CSU Executive Pay Increases During Same Years as Tuition Hikes

SACRAMENTO, CA – After years of tuition increases imposed on California State University (CSU) students and CSU executives simultaneously receiving pay raises, California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) is saying no more. Today, Assemblymember Gloria announced AB 930 – legislation that would forbid the CSU Board of Trustees from approving executive pay raises during the same year as student fee or tuition increases. In addition, AB 930 would mandate any proposed executive pay increases be reviewed at two public hearings.

If we are going to ask students to pay more for a public education at our CSUs, campus presidents and CSU executives should not be receiving pay raises especially when our objective is to make college more affordable,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “AB 930 promotes good governance, transparency, and makes sure our CSU institutions are putting students and student success first.”

Student tuition for CSUs has continuously increased. In 2017-2018, the CSU Board of Trustees approved a five percent hike in student tuition. The chart below depicts student tuition hikes since 2000-2001.

At the same time as tuition has increased, CSU executive salaries have also increased across the 23 college campuses. In 2007, the average salary of a CSU campus president was $295,000 annually. As of 2018, it has increased to $333,000 annually. Meanwhile, student tuition has gone up by $2,970.

Under AB 930, executive pay increases would be prohibited in years where there is a student fee or tuition increase. This would apply to the CSU Chancellor, Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, Executive Vice Chancellor and General Counsel, Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, Vice Chancellor of University Relations and Advancement, Vice Chancellor and Chief Audit Officer, and all 23 campus presidents.

In addition, the bill requires executive pay increases be placed on the CSU Board of Trustees agenda for an initial informational public hearing and then voted on at the next consecutive public hearing. The amount of the proposed pay increase, source of funding for the increase, and rationale for the increase must all be disclosed during the public hearing.

"AB 930 would provide much-needed transparency and accountability to the way the CSU Board of Trustees does business,” said Dr. Jennifer Eagan, President of the California Faculty Association and a Cal State East Bay Professor. “The public should have the opportunity to know that the Board is considering a salary increase for its executives, and be granted an opportunity to comment on those decisions, which have a lasting impact on our university system. This is the People’s University, and the people of California have a right to information and access to the decisions being made.”

The State of California and the students of the CSU system split the cost of operating the universities. Last year, the CSU Board of Trustees administered $7.3 billion. Approximately $3.9 billion came from the State’s General Fund and approximately $3.4 billion came from student tuition and fees.

The full text of AB 930 can be found here. The bill has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Higher Education for a first hearing later this month.