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Cal State students to protest rising tuition, presidents' pay

May 8, 2012 |  9:55 am

The California State University Board of Trustees will consider another controversial plan to boost presidential pay during a meeting Tuesday in Long Beach, where faculty plan to protest stalled contract negotiations and students rising tuition.

The new compensation plan would freeze state-funded pay for new campus presidents at that of their predecessors  but allow school foundations to raise funds to boost their salaries. It would amend existing policy which allowed for 10% pay hikes.

That policy was harshly criticized in March when two incoming campus presidents received the maximum hike at a time when the university has suffered unprecedented losses in state funding.

Tuition has increased six years in a row, including a 9% hike this fall that will raise the annual rate for undergraduates to $5,970, not including campus-based fees that average more than $1,000.

The university recently announced plans to freeze enrollment for spring 2013 and wait-list applicants for the following fall. Students at six campuses last week began a hunger strike, demanding that university leaders freeze tuition and roll back executive salaries, among other demands.

They and other students are expected to confront trustees Tuesday and at Wednesday's plenary session.

Meanwhile, faculty has scheduled “peaceful” protests after failing to reach an agreement over salary, health benefits and other terms of a new contract. Last week, the California Faculty Assn. announced that 95% of its members voted to strike if they and management are unable to come to terms.


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-- Carla Rivera in Long Beach

Photo: Neil Hultgren, an assistant professor of English at Cal State Long Beach, participates with members of the California Faculty Assn. during a peaceful protest at the California State  University Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times.