Kelly Puente, Staff Writer
Posted: 05/07/2012 03:07:22 PM PDT

LONG BEACH – The California State University Board of Trustees today will again consider freezing CSU presidents’ salaries in an attempt to curb public outcry over recent pay hikes.

But critics aren’t satisfied.

The meeting at the CSU Chancellor’s Office in Long Beach is expected to draw student and faculty protesters, outraged over what they say are exorbitant presidential salaries in a time of tuition hikes, enrollment freezes and cuts to courses.

Under the proposal, state- funded salaries for the 23 campus presidents would be frozen, but new presidents could still receive higher salaries than their predecessors with supplements from nonprofit campus foundations. The policy would be in effect until 2014.

Cal State San Bernardino is among those campuses that will have a new president, after Al Karnig retires in June.

A special board committee on presidential selection and compensation will discuss the proposal today, and the full board is scheduled to vote on it Wednesday.

CSU spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp said the proposal is designed to limit state funding while allowing the CSU to adjust salaries to attract top talent.

“(The CSU) is trying to be mindful of what’s going on with the state budget crisis, so we’ve frozen salaries on the state side, but we do need to compete in a national market for presidential compensation,” he said.

Campus auxiliaries would gather private donations specifically to pay for the president’s salary, he said. Scholarships, which are a primary mission of foundations, wouldn’t be affected.

The plan doesn’t limit how much compensation a president can receive in private funding, but Uhlenkamp said the CSU plans to stay within a 10 percent increase from the predecessor’s salary.

Critics said the board is simply playing a shell game. No matter who pays for the raises, it’s money that could be used to build academic programs, said Lillian Taiz, the president of the California Faculty Association, which represents 24,000 professors and other staff that haven’t had a raise since 2008.

“They’re clearly not backing away from the model of unlimited raises for campus presidents,” Taiz told The Associated Press.

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