The Cal State University system was developed as a way to give opportunity to all those who seek a higher education. In the midst of a financial crisis and across-the-board slashes to higher education, Chancellor Charles Reed decided it best to take money from the CSUs to reward administrators.
The same day he told people in front of his office that he feels their pain, he authorized giving nine vice presidents up to 19 percent pay raises. In addition, he endorsed a 10 percent raise to an interim vice chancellor and rubberstamped hiring 11 new campus vice presidents. The increases for existing vice presidents range from $1,548 to $22,500 a year, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
We can think of many ways that money could better serve the soul of the CSU system — the students.
This money should go toward better serving students by providing more professors and class selections. It is hard to swallow fee increases and enrollment caps while the chancellor is doling out administrative salary hikes.
We’ve been down this path before. Amid the protracted California Faculty Association contract negotiations two years ago, Chuckie’s largesse was shared with university presidents in the form of 9-14 percent pay raises; all while students were being jabbed with fee increases.
Reed even had the gall to give himself a raise of nearly $50,000 per year, from $377,000 to $421,500. After all, a guy’s gotta eat, right?
When asked if the board of trustees would consider administrative salary or hiring freezes, chair Jeffrey Bleich said that was the last resort, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Apparently, hurting students and employees is the first resort.
The 450,000-enrollment cap will heavily affect minority and low-income students. In addition to the cap, admissions standards will tighten and deadlines will shorten, further strangling the hopes of students wanting a university education.
Rather than standing up for the system, Chuckie Greed has opted to mimic thieving corporate executives; the CEOs of American International Group and General Motors, for instance.
AIG begged Congress to save their asses in the bailout, then held a congratulatory $450,000 soiree at a luxury resort. GM’s execs flew private jets to Washington and stayed in lavish hotel suites, while groveling for the feds to save their bacon.
Similarly, Reed’s executive pay raises compare to corporate malfeasance. Pat Gantt, the president of the CSU Employees Union nailed Reed’s actions precisely in the S.F. Chronicle. “It’s like the executives at Enron taking bonuses while the company goes down….”
It’s time to insist on accountability, people. It’s time to end Reed’s pagan campaign of offering students and employees as sacrificial lambs to his master, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
There is no justification for his decision to reward administrators and simultaneously rob the system.
Education is critical for a functioning society; denying any student who qualifies will only create more chaos in this money-strapped state. Without students, the CSU system would not exist and we need a chancellor that understands this. Reed ain’t the one.
An enrollment cap will only create a larger social divide, forcing groups that are already underserved to stay at the bottom. Administrators like vice presidents and interim vice chancellors should be paid fairly and have opportunity for raises.
However, this can’t come at the expense of the student.
As responsible communities invested in protecting current and future education, we must demand Reed’s resignation — starting today. Chuckie Greed’s beautiful house is ours and it’s time to evict him as a bad tenant for “not keeping up the property.”