Legislators Flunk Cal State ‘Fuzzy Math’

March 12, 2012 - By admin

MARCH 12, 2012

By JOHN HRABE

Senate Republican leader Bob Huff flunked Cal State University’s “fuzzy math” and is calling for “substantial changes at the institution.” His action followed CalWatchDog.com‘s investigation into the system’s false and misleading information about the total compensation of its top administrators.

“The California State University system faces a difficult challenge with mounting trigger cuts that have placed enormous financial pressure on the backs of middle class families,” Huff said. “But using fuzzy math to camouflage escalating executive compensation, while student fees are skyrocketing, underscores a need for substantial changes at the institution.”

CalWatchdog first reported this month on the deceptive practices by Cal State to misinform the public about the total compensation provided to the system’s 23 presidents. According to IRS documents of the Cal State University Los Angeles Foundation, CSULA President James Rosser reported receiving $515,612 in total compensation for fiscal year 2009-10, which ended on June 30, 2010. The half-million dollar figure is roughly $200,000 more than CSU’s previously cited base salary of $325,000 per year. In at least five instances, Cal State officials have claimed or implied a lower compensation amount for CSULA’s Rosser.

‘Doesn’t Look Right’

Senator Doug LaMalfa, R-Redding, also criticized Cal State for deceiving the public and providing its executives with high salaries during the state’s ongoing budget crisis.

“It just doesn’t look right.  We are in the middle of a budget crisis with student fees being increased left and right, yet executives are getting six-figure raises and $100,000 perks not even on the books,” La Malfa told CalWatchDog.com. “These are huge salaries for public officials, larger than the governor, yet they have a much smaller portfolio of responsibilities. They can ‘suffer along’ with their current six-digit compensation while the rest of the public weathers the budget crisis and tough economy.”

Following last year’s public outcry over San Diego State University’s $400,000 base salary for new president Elliot Hirschman, Cal State established a special Web page for public information on its executive compensation policies. “As a public institution, the California State University is committed to being as open and transparent to the public as possible,” the website reads. “In response to recent discussions about the California State University’s executive compensation policies and practices, we have created this central page to make the documents related to those policies more readily accessible.”

Senators Huff and La Malfa join a growing number of legislators that are urging greater fiscal accountability at Cal State. Senator Joel Anderson, R-Santee, and Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada-Flintridge, were the first legislators to criticize Cal State for its efforts to mislead the public on executive compensation.

“If it’s true that the CSU has been hiding important budget information from the Legislature and public review, potentially in violation of state law and the CSU’s own rules, then I believe there needs to be consequences,” said Assemblyman Portantino. “It is PAST time for the CSU to be fully and completely transparent. I call on the Assembly Leadership to support my continuing effort to FREEZE the pay and benefits for the CSU executives until we have adequate time to review, line-by-line, actual spending records.”

 

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Comments(17)
  1. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    “The California State University system faces a difficult challenge with mounting trigger cuts that have placed enormous financial pressure on the backs of middle class families,” Huff said.

    Can someone, ANYONE, please explaint to me why Jerry Clown does not put “trigger cuts” onto the pay and benefits of the prison guards??? Or the CHP??

    Why are these “trigger cuts” always on the poor and no one else??? Who is in a better position to take a cut, a $200K per year GED Educated CHP cop, or prison guard or a poor or lower middle class citizen trying to find a job in a state with a 22% U-6 UE Rate???

    Bring the trigger cuts on, because the pension sales tax is DOA and until we stop making GED gov employees multi millionaires on the backs of the poor NOTHING will change-so bring it on.

  2. Beelzebub says:

    Looks like these criminals have mislead the taxpayers about how much the university execs are getting compensated. That’s fraud. There should be terminations and jail time for such behavior. By omitting big raises and $100k perks from the books these bottom feeders are defrauding the public, especially after we found out about Bell, Ca.

  3. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    Beelz, the gov has been misleading taxpayers on ALL gov employee compensation.

    How many taxpayers knew that public safety employees received 57% of their salary was added on monthly to their pensions account?? or that they had 7 weeks of PAID vacation, or 14 PAID holidays, or 13 PAID sick leave days??? That is 11 weeks of PAID time off. Do you think that was ever disclosed???

    Or that they (public safety) have had raises averaging 8%-10% for the last decade???????

  4. Beelzebub says:

    Rex, that Stanford study disclosed that that average public safety pension in OC is about $70k. But they failed to disclose that was for ALL public safety personnel collecting a pension TO INCLUDE those who worked a public safety job for 10 years and left or got fired. These reports should separate out those who retired after 25 years or more. Those pensions would average $100k easily.

    They do the same with the teachers. They claim the average teacher pension is $50k – but again it include all those who were vested in the pension system after 10 year and quit. I bet the average teacher pension of 25 years plus is closer to $85k.

    And, of course, medical benefits are piled on top of that!

  5. LGMike says:

    How about automatic cuts for the legislators who “hide” compensation for themselves and especially staff persons which in many cases far exceed the stated salaries. They hide compensation by saying part of pay coming from different (but the same taxpayers fund) sources. Look how fast the legislature came up with a way to hide these facts after one legislator provided a full accounting of his expense for himself and staff.

  6. stevefromsacto says:

    “until we stop making GED gov employees multi millionaires on the backs of the poor NOTHING will change.”

    Damn, Rexie, you almost sound like an Occupy kind of guy! Just wish you’d speak up about keeping the multi-millionaires rich on the backs of the poor with corporate loopholes and tax breaks for the wealthy.

    And Beez, I’m sorry you think that someone who gives an entire career to educating our children is not even worth an$85K a year pension when hedge fund managers and baseball stars earn that much in a day. So much for priorities, eh?

  7. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    Damn, Rexie, you almost sound like an Occupy kind of guy! Just wish you’d speak up about keeping the multi-millionaires rich on the backs of the poor with corporate loopholes and tax breaks for the wealthy.

    Steve, I am 100% against corporate welfare, TRAP and everything in between. the reason we have that is because of capital cronyism, and Obama and the democrats are just as guilty as any of the republicans. They are destroying the poor and especially the middle class.

    I’m sorry you think that someone who gives an entire career to educating our children is not even worth an$85K a year pension

    NO teacher deserves an $85K pension. They work part time jobs already, working only 37 weeks per year and only 36 hours per week. So Steve-WHY do you think they should get paid $85 an hour on average??? Wht should they get civil service protection if they are awful teachers????

  8. Beelzebub says:

    “And Beez, I’m sorry you think that someone who gives an entire career to educating our children is not even worth an$85K a year pension when hedge fund managers and baseball stars earn that much in a day. So much for priorities, eh?”

    When I was a kid a teacher was a middle class job. Nobody was supposed to get rich as a teacher. People went into education TO SERVE THE PUBLIC – not to get rich. I don’t think pro athletes should make as much as they do – but pro athletes have skills that only 1% of the population has. Any knucklehead can become a teacher as long as you get a 4 year degree. And about 30% of the population has one of those. Teachers are not special. They are VERY ordinary people who should receive ordinary paychecks and retirements. People in America are supposed to be rewarded for taking RISK! There is no RISK in being a teacher. Any dummy can do it and once finish your year probation it’s impossible to fire one. Look at the teacher pedophiles in LAUSD. Even with a history of sexually fondling little children they still keep their jobs!!! DISGUSTING!

  9. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    Well said Beelz, but the probation period is only TWO (2) years. Arnold tried to make it 5 and the Teachers Union spent $100 million to defeat the prop.

  10. me says:

    “They work part time jobs already, working only 37 weeks per year and only 36 hours per week. So Steve-WHY do you think they should get paid $85 an hour on average???”

    Obviously you have not been a teacher, or even know one. They work 37 hours in the classroom, but you are forgetting the other 20-30 hours a week they work at home. Do you think an hour of office/prep time is enough to grade 30 papers? How about helping one on one with struggling students? Should our teachers do nothing but teach from the book with scantron quizzes and tests? Real teachers work MUCH more than an standard 40 hour week.

    $85k might be a bit high, but don’t belittle the good teachers out there who deserve much more than they are getting.

  11. stevefromsacto says:

    Geez, Beez, so now $85,000 a year is considered “rich”? And of course you don’t believe that teachers take any RISKs, since you don’t even believe that firefighters take RISKs.

    And, btw, if you really believe that it is a noble thing TO SERVE THE PUBLIC, why do you have such hatred and disrespect for public servants?

  12. Kara Synburst says:

    Beelzebub, I have no idea where you’re getting your numbers (oh wait, down thread you say you “bet” a teacher pension is $85k). Suffice to say, you’re quite wrong. Teachers require a degree beyond the 4-year, and only 9% of the population in my city has one of those. Also, after twelve years in this field and with two graduate degrees, I make $62,000 a year (in a high cost-of-living city). You say teaching used to be a middle class job, and I would argue that it still is. If I retired after 30 years, I would make $40,380 a year. (I just checked to make sure using my retirement plan’s web site.) So what were we betting?

  13. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    Obviously you have not been a teacher, or even know one. They work 37 hours in the classroom, but you are forgetting the other 20-30 hours a week they work at home. Do you think an hour of office/prep time is enough to grade 30 papers? How about helping one on one with struggling students? Should our teachers do nothing but teach from the book with scantron quizzes and tests? Real teachers work MUCH more than an standard 40 hour week.

    $85k might be a bit high, but don’t belittle the good teachers out there who deserve much more than they are getting
    Actually I am a licensed teacher, have not taught for 14 years but still have the license.

    #1- teachers only work 37 weeks and the contract is for 36 hours per week. They do not work 20-30 hours a week at home, although they always make that claim they can NEVER back it up with factual documentation.

    #2- teachers in nearly all circumstances have OTHER STUDENTS grade papers. If it is a test many times it is on a scantron, which requires no work at all. For essay tests, this may require grading at home, but they are few and far between.

    #3- most teachers will not help struggling students to any significant degree.

    The claim yo work 70 hours per week is false, not even 50. Your comp is great as it is, especially since you cannot be fired short of a felony conviction. You should STOP complainign and start thanking those os us who pay your salary thru our taxes.

  14. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    And, with, if you really believe that it is a noble thing TO SERVE THE PUBLIC, why do you have such hatred and disrespect for public servants?

    Steve, why are you such a low down dirty liar????

    Me and Beelz are tired of the scams public employees have, it has nothing to do with “hatred”, that is just a BullSH** line you use to try to deflect the facts, and i am sick and tired of you using it to try to silence people who disagree with you.

  15. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    Teachers require a degree beyond the 4-year, and only 9% of the population in my city has one of those. Also, after twelve years in this field and with two graduate degrees, I make $62,000 a year (in a high cost-of-living city). You say teaching used to be a middle class job, and I would argue that it still is. If I retired after 30 years, I would make $40,380 a year. (I just checked to make sure using my retirement plan’s web site.) So what were we betting?

    Kara- first a teaching credential is very easy to obtain. It is at most an extra year, many times you can do the credential while you actually teach.

    Second-if you have TWO graduate degrees in CA you would be at the top of the pay scale, anywhere from $125K-$150K depending on the district and how many years of service you have. Your claim of $62K is bogus unless you’re in some podunk state.

    The average teacher in CA earns $68K, plus $45K in benefits. That is about triple median income, and in the top 15% of income earners in this state-that would not be considered middle class.

    Teachers make far more than middle class comp in this state, CA!

  16. stevefromsacto says:

    Aw, Rexie, did I hurt your feelings?? I’m so glad to know that while you believe that public employees scam the public, you don’t hate them. I’m sure they’ll sleep better knowing that.

    Interesting that because I have a different point of view from you and Beezer, you accuse me of trying to “silence” you.
    Now that is B.S. I have as much right to give my opinion as you do to give yours. Or are you such a Dittohead that you can’t stand points of view different from yours?

    And fat chance that I could ever stop you and Beezer from speaking your minds, even if I wanted to.

    p.s. Instead of calling me a “liar,” try calling me a “slut.” That worked for Rush Limbaugh…NOT.

  17. Kara Sunburst says:

    Dear Rex,
    If you are going to call other people’s claims “bogus,” you should make sure you know what you’re talking about. Here is a link to my salary schedule: http://video.scusd.edu/HumanResources/Documents/SalarySchedules/SCTA.pdf

    As you can see, I AM at the top of the pay scale, which after 12 years of work is $68,043 (I was wrong about $62k — was going off memory after filing my recent taxes, and I put a lot in deferred comp.)

    Here is one university’s credential requirements — 8 units of prerequisites and 36 units in the program. http://edweb.csus.edu/tpac/Program%20Handout%20-%20New%20SS%20updated_pw%20comments_nov11.pdf
    I would suggest that that number of units is frequently more than a year “at most,” particularly for those who have to work in addition to going to school, as I did. (For the record, 12 units is considered full-time at that university.)

    Median income would not include benefits, so neither should your calculations of teacher salary. Median household income in California is $60,883, according to the census: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06000.html That puts me, personally, just above median income with two graduate degrees, one of which you clearly hold in low regard.

    I’m going to let other readers decide who to believe, since I’ve been perfectly clear about my sources of information and you are making unsubstantiated claims.

    Oh yeah, and what sort of “factual documentation” would you expect people to have for the hours they work at home? A time sheet? I can’t prove you sleep, either, but that doesn’t really mean anything, does it?

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