By Nin Garcia |Staff Writer|
“This extraordinary spending on top executives just demonstrates more misplaced priorities by the CSU administration,” said State Senator Leland Yee.
According to news10.net, CSU campuses have spent more than two million over the past ten years remodeling the presidential homes of eight universities. At least half of that spending came from state funding sources, excluding annual maintenance and repairs.
Yee said it amazes him how university presidents can claim $300,000 to $500,000 yearly salaries to be inadequate, especially when campus presidents do not have to worry about basic bills including mortgage and utility costs.
The press release also mentioned that Cal Poly San Luis Obispo spent about $230,000 in 2011 on lighting replacements, kitchen upgrades, new wood flooring and more for it’s president’s house when the campus welcomed President Jeffrey Armstrong.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has spent more money on remodeling for it’s on campus presidential home than any other campus in the past ten years. The projects that were performed since 2004 have cost Cal Poly $831,000, and 99 percent of that came from state funding.
“I didn’t realize it was that much money. There were some people who felt like maybe it costs that much to refurbish. The problem is, it’s just so disjointed from the budget realities that it’s hard to fathom that we’re spending these kinds of monies on things that aren’t paying for classes for our students or going to hire faculty to teach the classes,” stated president of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo faculty union chapter Glen Thorncroft.
Not all presidential residence renovations are created equal. Cal Poly Pomona spent about $26,000 to renovate the kitchen, including new appliances, at the Manor House, a historical four-bedroom home on campus that was built in 1926.
After President F. King Alexander came into Cal State Long Beach, the university spent $68,000 in his home improvements. Alexander has since donated $43,500 to the Miller House Fund, officials said.
However, CSU Fullerton gives evidence that they needed to renovate the historic El Dorado Ranch. Earlier this month CSU provided incoming President Mildred Garcia with $300,000 to remodel to the her new home (the El Darodo Ranch).
According to baycitzen.org, the amount of money used to refurbish these homes are not standard for every new CSU president.
California Maritime Academy President William Eisenhardt saw no major remodeling projects when he arrived at his new home on the Vallejo campus.
“It is no wonder that many of our students are forced to attend college out of state. Rather than cut back on ensuring administrators live like the Kardashians, the Trustees raise tuition on students. As we consider the CSU’s budget, I urge my colleagues to no longer send CSU a blank check. We should freeze all spending on executive salaries, benefits, and extravagant expenses,” said Yee.
Last month, Yee’s bill to stop executive pay hikes using state or foundation funds during bad budget years or when student fees increase, fell one vote short of passing in the Senate Education Committee.