Now you know: What Hutchinson, CSU admin are getting paid


Photo credit: Natalie Hanson

As we approach the end of the decade, which began in the midst of recovery from an economic crisis, it is important to look at the actions of the CSU system in administration’s pay and raises to salaries as the decade went on.

What does it really pay to occupy a top position within the CSU — like being president of a state university? Are pay raises consistent each year? Annual data seems to reveal that there’s a wide variation in pay between universities, even between the same positions, and may depend on various changes throughout the past decade.

In the past, The Orion was told that yearly administrative pay raises are often by 2-3%. However, a discrepancy can be found just by looking at the historic pay for Gayle Hutchinson.

A gap in increase

Hutchinson made $303,502 in 2018, and $474,108 with benefits, according to Transparent California. Her pay for 2019 has not yet been released.

In 2016, Hutchinson made $239,065 in regular pay, and a total of $356,403 with benefits included. A raise was announced for many members of administration the next year, and it was estimated that according to what we were told is an average raise, she would have her pay raised by about 3%.

Calculating estimations from the new increase, she was projected to begin receiving $243,847 in 2017.

However, Hutchinson actually made $294,591, or $458,519 with benefits included, that year – an increase by $55,526 in regular pay. This was an increase of over 23%, and seems like a steep increase compared to what students were originally told.

President pay gaps

In fact, there seems to be wide variation for paying presidents between each CSU.

Last year, a president could make anywhere between $246,000 (Sally J. Roush of San Diego State University) to $414,760 before benefits. Contrast that with 2011, when presidents made from $115,025 to $325,000. This means that from 2011 to 2018, the lowest salary for a president increased by over 110%, and the highest salary also increased by nearly 30%.

Those lowest-paid presidents aren’t even receiving the least – some changes during the year such as pay for interim presidents received even less as the position changed hands, or for other undisclosed circumstances.

In fact, the highest-paid president — who is currently Jeffrey D. Armstrong, of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo — can make nearly as much as the CSU’s chancellor (the top paid position).

CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White received regular pay of $449,529 — with benefits, $619,640 — last year, an increase of about 10% from last year’s pay and benefits total of $563,096.

White announced earlier this fall that he is retiring in 2020.

A surplus issue

Despite a found gap of 1.5 billion in the CSU budget this year –mostly from excess tuition revenue — raises for admin were expected again for the 2019 fiscal year and we will soon be able to see what CSU top admin made this year. However, it remains to be seen exactly why these raises vary so widely across the CSU system — and how exactly they will continue to be calculated as the CSU grapples with this surplus scandal.

All of the preceding data is available from Transparent California.

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