News Release

Real Money: How would the education mission gain if money spent on home remodels for four Cal State U. executives was spent differently?

May 31, 2012

Earlier this week the investigative news organization California Watch reported that in 2011 the Cal State U. management spent $500,000 to remodel two luxury houses for incoming California State University presidents. Add that to the cost of two other house remodels for incoming campus presidents this year, and the tab heads for a million dollars.

Meantime, students’ tuition has soared, CSU teachers and staff have lost their jobs, and elimination of class offerings is delaying students’ graduation because they can’t get the classes they need to finish a degree. All the while their debt piles up.

The four house remodels that have been reported so far total up to $917,420

  • $257,000 = San Diego State
  • $246,420 = Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  • $115,000 = CSU Northridge
  • $300,000 = CSU Fullerton

So what could that remodel money buy instead?

  • 183 Classes. A typical one-semester class can be offered for about $5000.
  • 4,600 Spots for Students to get a Class they Need to Graduate. Class sizes vary widely; 25 spots per class is a rough average.
  • 153 One-Year Scholarships for Students. State-wide tuition for CSU undergrads is just shy of $6000 a year. The CSU was meant to reach students who might not otherwise go to college. Rising tuition is closing the door on many of them.

“Yes, the total CSU budget is nearly $5 billion, and the remodels of these four presidents’ mansions is a very small percentage of that spending plan,” said Kim Geron, Vice President of the California Faculty Association. “But for nearly 5000 students who would get a needed class this is a lot more than symbolism. It’s a step closer to achieving their dreams.”

See the Cal Watch report.