Brown Blasts Pay Raise for SDSU President

By R. Stickney and Gene Cubbison
|  Wednesday, Jul 13, 2011  |  Updated 8:54 AM PDT
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Mo Money, Mo Problems at SDSU

A proposed pay raise to San Diego State president Dr. Elliot Hirshman was approved Tuesday, much to the chagrin of Gov. Jerry Brown and members of the San Diego State community.
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Add the governor to the group of people criticizing a Tuesday increase to the salary for San Diego State University's new president.

In a letter to the CSU Board of Trustees, Gov. Jerry Brown questioned whether Elliot Hirshman needed to be paid twice as much of the nation's Chief Justice.

He asked the board to re-evaluate how it sets administrator salaries.

By a 4-2 vote, a committee of the CSU Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved a $400,000 compensation package for Hirshman

That's $100,000 more than outgoing president Stephen Weber.

Before the vote, Brown questioned how the board could consider the hike in salary when deep budget cuts are prompting the 23-campus system to raise tuition.

CSU officials defended the move, saying the university needs to provide competitive compensation to recruit and retain top administrators.

The potential pay raise has turned heads at the SDSU campus.

"Hundreds of millions of dollars have been taken out of the CSU and UC budgets, out of higher education's budget," said Peter Herman, Ph.D., SDSU English literature professor. "It is an outrage that given the financial straits of this system, they would pay this man almost as much as the President of the United States."

Kalei Barretto, an SDSU freshman, called the increase "ridiculous."

Alyssa Goncalves, a senior, said it didn't seem fair that an administrator wouldn't feel "the crunch that we're feeling."

Jay Erb, a sophomore, said he hopes Hirshman is worth the price.

"He's very marketable," Erb said, "so hopefully with that salary that they paying him, it's worthwhile ... and he makes a positive impact on the university and the students as well."

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