Who are the CSU Trustees?

The Trustees’ vote on renewing CSU tuition increases was unusually close—11 yes and 8 no. In large part, the close vote happened because students, in particular, have worked hard to speak with the Trustees individually trying to change their minds.

So, who are the CSU Trustees who voted on this choice?

The board consists of 25 members, although only 22 seats are filled. Five are ex-officio, meaning they have the seat by virtue of their job—the Chancellor—or their elected office—the Governor, Lt. Governor, Assembly Speaker, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The Chancellor voted yes on the tuition hike; the other ex-officios voted no, except the Governor who was absent.

Two current students serve, although they have one vote between them, and there are one faculty member and one CSU alum.

The students cast their single vote against increasing tuition; the alum voted yes as did the faculty member, despite the opposition of the CSU Academic Senate and the California Faculty Association.

The remaining Trustees are appointed by various governors. Five current Trustees attended a CSU as a student. Of these, Eisen (board chair), Norton, Farar, and Day (board vice chair) voted yes to raise tuition while Abrego voted no.

Others who voted yes were Carney, Firstenberg, Meléndez, and Taylor. Voting no were Faigin, Simon, and Morales. Kimbell was absent.

CFA noted in a statement issued March 22 after the Trustees voted:

“It is a betrayal of today’s Californians by earlier generations who benefited from public support for California’s ‘People’s University.’ The CSU ensured previous generations access to the quality public higher education it takes to rise up and succeed, but are depriving our current students who are increasingly first-generation college students and students of color.”

So, making use of CFA’s Tuition Comparison Calculator, what might tuition have been for today’s CSU Trustees had they attended a CSU when they were about 19 years old?

As the Trustee who represents CSU alumni on the board, we know that John Nilon is in the Class of 1979. In Fall 1978, tuition (called fees at the time) was $146 a year. Adjusted for inflation, that would be about $545 today.

Students now pay $5472. That is before the $270 raise to be imposed for the coming academic year.