Salas Stands Up For Students

Published:

No raises for university executives as student tuition climbs

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 1317 which will prohibit Universities from increasing Executive pay when the Trustees / Board of Regents increase student tuition.

“We need to stand up for our students who are being priced out of an education while executives continue to give themselves raises,” said Assemblymember Salas.  “This is about protecting our students and holding universities accountable for their actions.”

In November 2014, trustees of the UC system approved increases in tuition and several of Cal State Universities stood by imposing “success fees” in lieu of violating a tuition freeze while both approved significant pay raises for several university executives including campus presidents and chancellors.

On average, CSU executives make $293,382 per year with a 3% increase totaling an average compensation of $303,982.73 (not including housing and other benefits). For chancellors at two UC campuses, pay increases amounted to a 20% raise from $319,160 to $383,300. Meanwhile, students at UC campuses, who are presently paying $11,220 just in tuition, could see that number rise to as much as $15,564 by 2019. At Cal State Universities, students are seeing increases in so-called “student fees” of amounting to annual costs of nearly $800 per student despite claiming to have held tuition at $5,472 since 2011.

During the past ten years, the CSU system has twice approved pay raises for university executives, by an average of 11% in 2007 and 3% in 2014, while increasing student tuition fee rates by an average of 10% every year during the same time period. Similarly, the UC regents opted in 2014 to increase pay for top UC executives by as much as 20% while proposing annual increases in tuition by 28% over a five year period, purportedly due to lack of additional funding in the Budget.

These decisions continue a troubling pattern where raises for executive pay often coincide with decisions to increase the cost of tuition at state universities.

“We cannot stand by while university executives get raises and pass the costs onto hardworking students who often struggle to pay for their education,” said Assemblymember Salas. “It’s simple – if you do not have the budget to run a university without increasing tuition and student fees, then you do not have the budget for university executives to be paid more.”

As public institutions designed to serve students, state universities have a responsibility to keep education accessible and affordable and to prioritize student needs over executive pay. According to the Institute for College Access and Success’ Project on Student Debt, more than half of all Californians graduating from four year institutions in 2013 were indebted as a result of their student loan obligations with the average student holding more than $20,000.

Assemblymember Salas represents part of the City of Bakersfield, the cities of Arvin, Avenal, Corcoran, Delano, Hanford, Lemoore, McFarland, Shafter, Wasco, and the communities of Armona, Buttonwillow, Home Garden, Kettleman City, Lamont, Lost Hills, Stratford and Weedpatch.