By Mark Muckenfuss, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 04/21/17 – 8:08 PM PDT |

Just a year ago, the faculty of California State University was ready to walk.

After months of stalled negotiations, the California Faculty Association and its members had already planned for a weeklong work stoppage when Chancellor Timothy White stepped into the process, cut a last-minute deal and kept the system’s classrooms open.

One of the continuing complaints by the CFA during the long standoff was that the system had been adding administration positions at a greater rate than faculty jobs and that pay for managers had increased at a higher rate than other employees.

A new report from the California State Auditor’s Office agrees with that assessment.

The April 20 report studied a nine-year period from fiscal year 2007-2008 to 2015-2016 and found that growth in management positions (15 percent) was at least double that of executive (7 percent), faculty (7 percent) and support staff (6 percent).

Average salaries for management personnel also increased at a higher rate over the same period. The increase of 8.4 percent was more than the 7 percent increase for support staff and the executive staff’s 6.3 percent. Faculty received the least at 2.8 percent.

“It certainly confirms what we already knew,” said Lillian Taiz, political action chairwoman and past president of CFA. “In a bizarre kind of way, it’s sort of gratifying. It’s nice to see our numbers are right.

“It is the pattern we have been seeing for years,” she added, “the amazing growth of management personnel.”

CSU spokeswoman Toni Molle said efforts have been made to address the imbalance.

“The CSU has been working diligently to increase the number of faculty,” Molle said in an email. “The university hired 849 new tenure-track faculty in 2015-16 — the most since 2007 and increased that number with another 854 newly hired faculty in 2016-17. With a fully supported state budget, the CSU plans to add at least 750 additional faculty for 2017-18.”

In his response to the report, White said the audit failed to factor in some specific categories of employees that might have skewed the data. He also pointed out that 60 percent of those classified as management deal directly with students, often in programs designed to increase graduation rates and close achievement gaps.

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