The California State University Board of Trustees approved salary increases for three university presidents Tuesday afternoon, despite opposition from members of the California Faculty Association, along with students and staff.
Faculty protesters held signs saying "chop from the top" and "fair contract now" in front of the chancellor's office in Long Beach before the initial vote by the trustees.
"The compensation packages are just out of control," said La Tanya Skiffer, a sociology professor at CSU-Dominguez Hills. "They're out of step with the reality of the situation in this state."
Around noon, the board's committee of university faculty and personnel voted 8-1 to increase the pay hikes. Later, the 25 members of the board of trustees cast the final vote approving the pay increase.
The pay raise goes into effect at the beginning of the next academic year.
Many CSU students fear the budget problems will trigger fewer teachers, fewer classes and less opportunities for a quality education.
"The Cal State system continues to say we are broke, we can't afford to give you classes, we can't afford to give a fair contract for faculty," said student Ysenia Ramirez. "But, in reality, they are giving pay raises...today."
Currently, new presidents receive the same salaries as their predecessors. Any increases must be funded by outside foundations, and raises are limited to 10 percent.
Dianne F. Harrison, the new Cal State Northridge president, will receive a yearly salary of $295,000 with an additional supplement of $29,500 from an outside foundation.
Cal State San Bernardino President Tomas D. Morales will receive a salary of $290,000, plus a $29,000 salary supplement from a foundation source.
San Francisco State’s new president Dr. Leslie Wong will receive $298,749 as a salary, plus $26,251 from an outside foundation.
Interim presidents Dr. Willie J. Hagan of Cal State Dominguez Hills, Dr. Joseph F. Sheley of Cal State Stanislaus and Dr. Eduardo M. Ochoa of Cal State Monterey Bay will share the same salaries as their predecessors.
Admiral Thomas Cropper will be the only president to receive a reduction in pay from his predecessor at the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo. He will receive a salary of $250,000.
"In the grand scheme of things, the totality of the cuts makes it so that this is such a small miniscule piece of the entire puzzle," said spokesman for the CSU chancellor's office, Mike Uhlenkamp.
In addition to the pay increases, the trustees discussed the governor's proposed tax measure. If it fails at the polls in November, CSU will face an additional $250 million in mid-year "trigger" cuts, increasing university costs.