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CSU trustees cap presidential compensation

POSTED January 27, 2012 8:56 p.m.

In response to concerns over rapidly escalating executive pay, the California State University Board of Trustees on Wednesday moved to cap presidential compensation.

Newly-hired CSU presidents may now earn a base salary, paid thorough public funds, no more than 10 percent above the previous incumbent's base pay.

Compensation will be determined by referencing a new tiered list of comparable universities, and considering candidate's personal qualifications. Previously, compensation was determined through comparative list which included private university presidents with salaries as high as $2 million.

The new policy comes in response to outcry over salaries viewed as excessive. In 2011, the CSU Board of Trustees raised fall tuition by 12 percent, while awarding the new president of San Diego State a $400,000 salary – $100,000 more than his predecessor, with $50,000 coming from the campus' nonprofit foundation.

The new policy will not affect foundation contributions to presidential salaries.

A bill in the state senate would look to go further than the policy adopted by CSU officials Wednesday, allowing no more than a 5 percent salary increase for newly-hired presidents. Additionally, the bill would prohibit pay increases for top administrators within two years of a tuition hike, or within two years of the university not receiving an increase in their state budget allocation.

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