The 3-minute interview with Leland Yee

The state senator is the author of Senate Bill 190, a proposal that would require California State University trustees to hold public meetings when discussing administrative pay raises. The bill is sitting on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk. On Wednesday, the 23-campus system’s board of trustrees approved a 12 percent raise a year for the next four years for campus presidents and other senior administrators.

Why would the CSU approve such a high pay raise for administrators? The board of trustees just do not understand the level of frustration by students, faculty, parents and lawmakers. On one hand, they approve raises for some execs who make $400,000 a year and then pass the costs off on students. It’s hard to approve student fee increases when you see these excessive salaries.

CSU administators were given a 12 percent raise for the next four years. Since that is too high in your opinion, what would have been a better percent raise? Zero. They shouldn’t have gotten any raise at all considering they are asking lawmakers to approve tuition fee hikes.

The argument is that CSU salaries need to be so high because administrators at top private colleges are paid even more. Is that a valid argument? No, the average salary for top administrators is $260,000 at CSU. That should be enough. They also get living allowances, car allowances and other perks. They make enough.

Are CSU administrators greedy? No. I don’t think it’s greed. It’s arrogance.


Check out more 3-minute interviews from our San Francisco newsroom.

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