CFA members and students held a rally outside of the Board of Trustees meeting on September 13 before walking into the meeting.
As the wait for public comment grew to approximately 45 minutes participants began chanting, “Let’s go, start the show”
Once public comment began faculty and students told stories about their indignities and struggles on campus.
Sacramento State philosophy Lecturer Jonathan Chen demanded that the CSU invest state monies in faculty and students instead of in campus presidents’ pockets.
CFA Associate Vice President Lecturers, North, Meghan O’Donnell described the frustrating lack of pay increases for devoted educators.
“I have worked full-time in the CSU for over 11 years. I am published, serve on countless committees, am an Academic Senator, and have a documented track record of excellence in the classroom. I am also a recipient of CSUMB’s Faculty Service Award,” said O’Donnell.
“For all that…the CSU pays me $53,000/year. After more than a decade of committed service to this institution, and the students we serve, YOU believe that what I, and thousands of lecturers like me, do, is worth so very little,” she added.
More Executive Raises
Also at the meeting, Trustees approved a wage increase for two campus presidents. CSU San Bernardino President Tomás Morales’ salary increased from $371,729 to $446,276 due to a 10 percent raise in 2021 and a 2 percent in 2022. San Francisco State President Lynn Mahoney’s salary increased from $405,231 to $445,755 due to a 10 percent increase in 2022.
In April 2022, the LA Times reported that Sakaki helped cover up misconduct allegations against her then husband Patrick McCallum. According to The Press Democrat, Sakaki’s subsequent May 23rd resignation included terms guaranteeing the title of president emeritus and a payout of $254,438 before transitioning to a faculty post. The executive transition program that Sakaki is benefitting from was halted in the spring.
CSU Budget Request
Trustees committed to advocating for increased state funding above the campus compact agreed to with Governor Newsom. The 5 year funding compact with Cal State promises annual 5% increases in state support through 2026-27.
CSU executives also explained that they are not considering tuition raises in 2023-24. “But will keep the possibility open in case the state budget deteriorates.”
In a budget presentation, CSU executives combined the Basic Needs Initiative funding into the Graduation Initiative funds, for a $75 million- allocation. The Basic Needs Initiative is an attempt to coordinate systemwide resources to support students experiencing food and housing insecurity.
Student Trustee Maria Linares patiently advocated for separating the Basic Needs funds from the Graduation Initiative. She shared her own story of facing homelessness. Linares further explained that most food pantries appeared to be bare and funded by the student governments. According to a survey cited by Linares, 66 percent of first generation and Black students report being food insecure and 18 percent are unhoused. She argued that the CSU is inadequately supporting students facing hunger.
“I find it frustrating that when we use buzzwords such as: we promote diversity, we promote equity, we promote inclusion,” Linares said. “But when it comes time to do it on paper, we weren’t always willing to do that because we are afraid of what the legislature might think and how they might react.”
CSU management argued that having line-item budget requests could undermine their ability to direct funds.
Trustees ultimately approved the request to make Basic Needs its own line item with a $20 million request out of the Graduation Initiative funds.
Deferred maintenance is catching up to the CSU
The systemwide backlog of deferred maintenance or building equipment and systems was estimated by the CSU in 2020-21 as $5.8 billion for academic buildings and $1.3 billion for “self-support” buildings.
CSU executives explained that the “estimated funding needed is about $284 million per year for the next 10 years to prevent the backlog amount from growing. To eliminate the backlog in 10 years, approximately $1.1 billion per year is required.”