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CSU Trustees Approve Tuition Hike, SDSU President’s $400,000 Salary

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Cal State Trustee Approve Tuition Hike, $400,000 President’s Salary

— Cal State students will be paying 12 percent more when school starts in the fall. That’s on top of a 10 percent fee hike approved earlier this year. At San Diego State that means full-time undergraduate students will pay $3,289 a semester – 26 percent more than they paid last year.

Gov. Jerry Brown sent a letter to Cal State trustees Tuesday urging them to reconsider a $400,000 annual compensation package for San Diego State’s new president Elliot Hirshman. He will earn about $100,000 more than his predecessor, Stephen Weber. The university also provides its presidents with housing and a $1,000 monthly car allowance.

Trustees approved the fee hike and Hirshamn's compensation package. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said the two decisions send students a challenging message.

“We’re not only raising fees and the cost and, in some cases, limiting access," he said. "But we’re also providing compensation that, as the governor pointed out, is two times greater than that of the (U.S.) Supreme Court chief justice.”

Herbert Carter, the board president, announced the creation of a committee to review the system’s recruitment and compensation practices. But he said the call to reconsider Hirshman’s salary came too late.

“It is extraordinarily difficult, having hired a president, having had him start work, now to debate the wisdom of whether or not we’re going to pay him what we committed to him a month ago,” he said.

The system-wide fee increase goes toward closing the hole left by the system’s loss of $650 million in state funding for the coming year. If the optimistic revenue projections on which the state's budget was balanced do not come to be, the system could face further mid-year cuts.

In a report from the Department of Education released earlier this summer, San Diego State's main and Imperial Valley campuses both appeared on a list of four-year public universities with the highest fee increases between the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years. During that period tuition and fees rose 47 percent for Imperial Valley students and 43 percent for main campus students. This fall mandatory tuition and fees will be 96 percent higher for Imperial Valley students than they were in the fall of 2007 and 91 percent higher for main campus students.

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