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New Cal State chancellor asks for salary cut to help budget

Timothy P. White.The incoming chancellor of the California State University system surprised trustees Wednesday by requesting that his proposed salary be reduced to help the institution climb out of a deep financial hole.

The gesture by Timothy P. White, who begins duties Dec. 31, drew cheers from a board room packed with students, faculty and members of the public. The trustees are holding their scheduled meeting in Long Beach.

The request was included in a letter read by board chairman A. Robert Linscheid as trustees were set to consider a compensation package that would have included an annual salary of $421,500, plus an annual salary supplement of $30,000 from the California State University Foundation.

The rate is the same as outgoing Chancellor Charles B. Reed. White is currently chancellor of UC Riverside and is attending a meeting of the UC regents in San Francisco.

In the letter, he said the request for a 10% reduction in the state-funded portion of his salary was in the best interests of the university, which has weathered steep funding cuts.

At the same time, trustees have faced criticism for compensation policies that increased the pay of new campus presidents while raising tuition and turning away eligible students.

"By changing the dialogue on my compensation, I hope to send a clear signal to the public at large, elected officials, the business community and families of current and future students that public higher education matters to all of us, and that we each must play a part in the rebuilding effort," White said.

The trustees' committee on university and faculty personnel approved a new salary of $380,000, plus the supplement, although many trustees said they believed the chancellor is underpaid. The full board is expected to approve the compensation later Wednesday.

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-- Carla Rivera in Long Beach

Photo: Incoming CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. Credit: Peter Phun / California State University

 
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