California State University presidents and other executives will receive an across-the-board 2 percent pay increase, a raise faculty union leaders brandished as part of a trend of "misplaced priorities."
CSU trustees approved the pay hike at their meeting Tuesday in Long Beach. The salary increase will cover chancellors, presidents and vice chancellors serving 460,000 students enrolled in 23 campuses across the state.
According to the university system, CSU executive pay lags about 25 percent behind when compared to other markets. Executives received no pay increase during four of the last five years.
"These increases are at or below what has been provided to other employee groups," the university and faculty personnel committee wrote in its presentation to the board.
The raise will make San Diego State University president Elliot Hirshman CSU's highest paid campus president -- his annual base pay will rise to $420,240. CSU system Chancellor Timothy White's pay will increase to $430,746.
The University of California's governing board on Wednesday will consider raising the pay of campus chancellors and other senior leaders by 3 percent, system spokeswoman Dianne Klein said. The chancellors of four campuses received salary increases ranging from 5 percent to 20 percent last fall under a three-year plan to bring their earnings in line with those of their counterparts at other major research institutions.
Several speakers at the meeting spoke against the executive pay raise, saying faculty salaries have languished and the CSU board's priorities are misplaced. Jennifer Egan, a professor at CSU East Bay and president of the California Faculty Association, urged the board of trustees to focus on teachers and student services instead.
"It's about funding priorities," Egan said. "Whether the state budget goes up or down, faculty salaries remain flat."
Faculty salaries are currently being negotiated. CSU has proposed a 2 percent raise, which union leaders Tuesday said is negligible when compared to a 2 percent increase for executives.
The average CSU faculty salary has increased 8 percent since 2004, rising from $46,362 to $50,179 in 2014, while the average pay for a campus president has risen 44 percent, from $218,871 in 2004 to $314,357 in 2014, according to the union.