Government Fail: CSU tuition up massive 12%…but not as big as 33% raise to president’s salary

What are they thinking?

Minutes after voting to raise student tuition by 12 percent for the fall, California State University trustees on Tuesday decided the salary for a new campus president should be $100,000 greater than his predecessor’s.

The salary debate concerned Elliot Hirshman, who began earlier this month as the president of San Diego State. The board approved a compensation package for him Tuesday afternoon that includes a salary of $400,000, with $50,000 paid for with private funds from the university’s foundation.

I’d like to find a single person outside of this group of trustees that thinks this is a good idea.

It just doesn’t make sense in any universe. And it just helps fuel the “government waste” fire. True, what the trustees do has no bearing on what the legislators or teachers or anyone else does, but people (and media) like to lump government together, and here we have a prime example of out of touch, out of mind spending by a very small group that blackens things for everyone else.

Look, I understand the argument that wages should be competitive. You want the best guy for the job, then you need to at least pay a salary that the competition would offer him. But that argument doesn’t hold water at these high levels.

If you make $20,000 a year, and you’re offered $22,000….you’ll bail in a second. That extra 2k can be the difference between a revolving credit card debt and none at all. That could be the difference between having to work extra overtime or being able to go home with your family.

If you’re looking at one job that pays $55,000 and one that pays $47,000, again, the contest is week. At that level, $8,000 goes a long way. That can be a year of rent, for one.

But once you start talking about $200k, $300k, $400k? What’s the difference?

No one in their right mind would turn down a $325k job over a $340k job just on salary alone. You’ve got your mansion, your cars, your vacations, that extra $15,000 isn’t a big deal. You’ll look at more important things when picking which job you want to jump into.

So why $400k? Why not $375? Why not $367,890?

$20,000 won’t make a difference in finding the “right” guy for the job….but that is the full annual salary of a kitchen worker or cleaner.

And why exactly is this new guy so much better than the old guy that he’s worth $100,000 more? he hasn’t proven himself at all, but we should believe he’s 33% better at the job?


So, how long until we see a proposition that limits CSU staff pay ranges? It would pass with an impressive margin, that’s for sure.

And btw, both Governor Brown and Lt. Newsom are against the new salary, as explained in the news article linked above.

2 Replies to “Government Fail: CSU tuition up massive 12%…but not as big as 33% raise to president’s salary”

  1. Why not? I mean, if an executive who destroyed her company while paying herself extra bonuses almost became Governor, hiking the salary of a university president is not unprecedented.

  2. Outrageous salaries aren't new, but doing it minutes after a massive tuition hike, which was caused because of the lack of money? Insane. Unless they were aiming at providing a giant middle finger, they should have waited a month (or of course, never done it at all).

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