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First Person: Fee Hikes For CSU Students, Fat Salaries For Administrators; Something's Wrong

As students absorb a series of fee hikes that are driving them further into debt, administrators seem oblivious to their plight, says one student from San Leandro.

(A Patch article about published in October prompted San Leandro resident and California State University student Angela Marrujo to write about the debts that she and her peers are accumulating. Today she reacts to the decision by trustees of the CSU system to raise tuition another 9 percent.)

In regards to the recent fee hikes, I have to say that while I'm extremely disappointed, angry and irritated, I'm not even surprised.

It seems like the administrators and trustees in the California State University system could care less about pumping more money out of current and prospective students, because it's just been one increase after another.

Last November they approved a two-step increase that ultimately amounted to a 15 percent hike.

In July they approved another 12 percent increase. And now this?

I'm just wondering when it will end.

I understand that the universities are trying to accommodate the thousands of students attending their schools by finding the funds to provide them with classes and services.

But it's getting to the point where an education system that was supposed to be accessible to all is now becoming accessible only to those who can afford it.

Apparently this is the sixth consecutive year that the CSU system has increased its tuition.

I don't know if I'll be able to afford to stay in school if these tuition hikes remain an annual thing. I'm not getting any pay raises congruent with these increases in fees and tuition (make that no pay raises at all). So I just keep seeing more money going out than coming in.

When I hear the excuses made by the CSU and University of California administrators for these constant tuition increases, I have to wonder how they manage to continue to justify them.

Look at the president of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's salary - $350,000 - and the salary of the president of San Diego State - $400,000.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but President Obama makes $400,000.

What exactly does the president of a CSU (or a UC) do that they should earn as much as the president of the United States?

And yet when we ask these questions we get no response, no explanations, no nothing.

It just boggles my mind. At a time when the CSU and UC systems are underfunded, these people are still giving each other raises, making outrageous salaries, and even living in homes provided to them by the university.

And yet they shamelessly bleed us dry. Just excuse after excuse is all that it has boiled down to.

David November 28, 2011 at 07:09 PM
It's not just that the guys at the top make excessive salaries (and benefits--your $400k salary isn't enough to buy your own house??), but that the ranks of administrative staff have ballooned over the past decade. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/septemberoctober_2011/features/administrators_ate_my_tuition031641.php
Tom Abate November 28, 2011 at 09:06 PM
I lifted this from a Bay City News report on the UC Regents meeting (mostly about the pepper spray at Davis): "UC President Mark Yudof said at the start of the meeting that he is calling for the partial restoration of funding for the system in the state Legislature's next budget negotiations. "State disinvestment has placed a tremendous strain on the university," reducing the state's contribution to the UC system from $3.2 billion to $2.3 billion over the past few years, Yudof said. Not CSU, but a similar trajectory?

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