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Lawmakers seek limits on university executive pay

July 18, 2011 | 10:55 am

Outraged by pay raises for university executives while student fees are going up, state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) said Monday he will reintroduce legislation to prohibit such pay increases during bad budget years.

Yee and other legislators are proposing restrictions in response to last week's decision by the California State University Board of Trustees to approve a $100,000 raise for the new president of San Diego State while at the same meeting approving a 12% tuition increase. In addition, the University of California Board of Regents raised tuition by 9.6% while also giving the head of the UC San Francisco Medical Center a $195,000 raise.

"The action taken last week by the regents and trustees is appalling and reinforces the perception that they are completely out of touch," Yee said. "UC and CSU are public institutions, not Wall Street banks. Once and for all, it is time to stop these egregious compensation practices and restore the public trust."

In 2009, Yee won legislative approval of a measure prohibiting pay raises for top executives of the CSU system in years that the state does not increase its funding, but it was vetoed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

State Sens. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) and Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara) have also introduced legislation, SBX1 25, which would prohibit the CSU trustees from approving executive raises of more than 10% in the same year there is a tuition increase.

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

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