Tough legislative hearing takes up audit that finds bloated CSU manager pay, hiring

A hard-hitting public hearing of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee at the State Capitol this morning tackled what legislators called “troubling” audit findings.

They show that California State University managers are being hired at twice the rate of faculty or support staff, and at increasingly higher pay.

The audit shows that of all the money the CSU spends on compensation, slightly more than 14% goes to managers, even though they comprise only about 7.5% of all employees. Furthermore, Auditor Elaine Howle, said her audit team found the CSU administration is unable to justify these trends in terms of student success or individual performance.

Lillian Taiz, chair of CFA’s Political Action and Legislation Committee, who testified at the hearing for CFA, noted these are long-term problems that require “something new.” She told legislators, “We look forward to working with the legislature on a new budget structure that will actually hold the administration accountable for how they choose to spend taxpayer dollars that are supposed to be educating our next generation of Californians.”

Taiz said, “If we really mean to enhance student success and increase graduation rates, why grow the ranks of management personnel who do not teach classes, don’t offer counseling or library services, and don’t mentor or coach students every single day the way our colleagues do.”

Legislators intently questioned the audit team and the Chancellor’s representatives—neither CSU Chancellor Timothy White nor the CSU’s Chief Financial Officers attended. Assembly member Dr. Shirley Weber, who called for the audit, highlighted lagging faculty pay and growing class size despite the goal of prioritizing “student success.”

That sentiment was echoed by Assembly members Blanca Rubio and José Medina who chairs the Assembly Higher Education Committee, and State Senators Toni Atkins and Jean Fuller, among others.

Read the audit:California State University: Stronger Oversight is Needed for Hiring and Compensating Management Personnel and for Monitoring Campus Budgets

See related CFA research papers: Race to the Bottom and Equity Interrupted

View the hearing: Streams at California Channel’s Video on Demand, Scroll to Joint Legislative Oversight Hearing: Audit report of CSU, August 23, 2017.

PHOTO: CFA members line up to speak at a legislative hearing on the audit of CSU management. Left to right: Nicki Mehta, CSU Sacramento; Marlyn Jones, CSU Sacramento; CFA President Jennifer Eagan, CSU East Bay; and Steven Filling, CSU Stanislaus.