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CA trustees approve salary increases for top administrators

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Chico State's AS President Dylan Gray Photo credit: Natalie Hanson

Chico State's AS President Dylan Gray Photo credit: Natalie Hanson

Chico State's AS President Dylan Gray Photo credit: Natalie Hanson

Natalie Hanson

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Chico State’s president Gayle Hutchinson will be one of CSU’s first presidents to receive a state-funded salary increase.

On Sept. 20, the board for the nation’s largest public university system unanimously approved salary increases for top administration and executives. These increases will effectively raise the salaries of all of the state’s public university presidents.

A 2.5 percent salary increase was approved for Chancellor Timothy P. White, six vice chancellors and the system’s campus presidents.

Since 2014, each year has seen a 2 to 3 percent salary increase for trustees.

According to Transparent California, President Hutchinson earned $239,065,890 as of 2016 in regular pay, and a total of $356,403,99 with benefits included. Calculating estimations from the new increase, she is projected to begin receiving $243,847,208. This estimate does not include benefits.

California hiked in-state tuition costs for the first time in seven years. Rising pensions may be to blame. While university officials expect this year’s increased tuition and fees to add $57 million for professors’ salaries and basic campus needs, an expected $26 million will go to pensions and retiree health costs.

This results in students paying higher tuitions each year often due to the rising rate of pensions being given by the UC system. The most recent decision to increase tuition by $2.9 million was addressed by Dylan Gray, president of Associated Students.

“I’m going to speak the truth… you can’t say there is no money, and I don’t think we should be saying that,” Gray said.

He stated that $2.9 million, when divided among the student body of approximately 17,000, means that students should pay less than an extra $180 each. The amount, according to Gray, is going towards the Graduation Initiative 2025, the statewide initiative being adopted with the proposed goal to increase graduation rates.

The decision to raise salaries for the state’s campus presidents will not affect student monies, as it is directed to the school from the state and not coming out of the school budget or necessitating any further cuts so far. AS manages money from and for the students, and a salary increase for the president of Chico State will not affect that money for students.

However, Gray said his main concern is that extra state money will now be allocated only for increases to top administrators.

“If they continue to say that there is not enough money for state budget purposes, and let’s not forget that… California has mandated that 40 percent of our budget goes to public education,” he said. “I do think there needs to be an investigation.”

Although he saw no direct financial effect on the student body and says he has great respect for President Hutchinson’s work, Gray nonetheless was dismayed at the discussed figures for the salary raises.

“All of this is public but there is so much information that how much of the public is actually being attentive to this? So I don’t want to hear that there’s no money anymore if there are so many different salary increases going on. And then they have the nerve to charge students more,” Gray said.

He stated that it must be addressed at this year’s meeting of Cal State Students (CSSA). Gray is the member of Chico State’s AS who votes in CSSA.

“If it’s not brought up (at the CSSA meeting)… I certainly will bring it up,” Gray said.

Natalie Hanson can be reached at [email protected] or @NatalieH_Orion on Twitter.

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The student news site of California State University, Chico
CA trustees approve salary increases for top administrators