CSU cancels meeting on executive raises in wake of protests

AP Photo/Reed Saxon

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CSU's Board of Trustees have canceled its Dec. 5 meeting on presidential compensation as the threat of more protests continues to loom.

The special committee was set to consider a single action item: Changes to the way Cal State compensates its top executives.

A Cal State spokeswoman said members of the anti-Wall Street group Refund California announced plans to attend Monday’s meeting. Administrators have already weathered blistering criticism by university faculty and other activists as they’ve raised executive salaries amid funding cuts and tuition increases.

The Regents voted at the end of November to give a vice chancellor at UCLA as well as two vice chancellors from UC Irvine raises of almost 10 percent. After this pay raise, the UCLA vice chancellor’s salary will be $317,000 while the UC Irvine vice chancellors will make $247,000.

Members of Refund California attended the Cal State trustees’ meeting two weeks ago where, despite over an hour of public testimony, they failed to convince trustees to vote against a tuition increase to make up for funding cuts.

A confrontation between protesters and university police outside that meeting led to four arrests and three injured officers. Police used pepper spray on some protesters and a glass entrance door shattered during the scuffle.

"We made this decision based upon our experience at the last board meeting where a large number of protesters attended, which is difficult to manage under the best of circumstances," said CSU Board Chair Herbert L. Carter. "Our ability to guarantee the safety of crowds that we anticipate may wish to attend has been further compromised due to the damage to the entrance of our building that is still under repair. In light of all of this, and the fact that the agenda for the special meeting included only one action item, the board made the prudent decision to cancel the meeting."

The presidential compensation policy will be considered by the board as part of its regularly scheduled meeting agenda in late January.