University officials refuse to answer inquiries, say it’s unnecessary to respond to public scrutiny

SACRAMENTO – Records show officials from the California State University system are failing to fully disclose the compensation of several of their top executives, records show.

According to independent reports, there are major compensation discrepancies when comparing IRS filings (Form 990) to records at the State Controller’s office and what CSU discloses on their website or in public records requests. In several cases, top administrators appear to be receiving tens of thousands of dollars more than what is being disclosed by the university.

CSU claims their campus president in Los Angeles has a total compensation of $325,000, whereas records at the Controller’s office show a salary $372,461 and IRS records show he received $515,612.

CSU records show Sacramento campus president’s compensation at $295,000, whereas the Controller’s office reports a $351,541 salary and the IRS reports his compensation at $429,244.

There are several other discrepancies as well:

• San Francisco campus president: $298,749 (CSU records), $356,366 (Controller records), $423,536 (IRS records)
• CSU Chancellor: $421,500 (CSU records), $399,326 (Controller records) $488,827 (IRS records)
• Vice Chancellor University Relations: $240,000 (CSU records) $274,694 (Controller records), $295,007 (IRS records)

In March, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) and Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge) sent a letter to CSU Chancellor Charles Reed asking for an explanation into the discrepancies.

After a number of requests for the Chancellor’s office to respond, Yee’s office received an email on May 8 from an Assistant Vice Chancellor stating, “Not sure we felt it was necessary to respond to the ongoing and never ending critical communications.”

Despite several follow up requests, Yee’s office has still not received a response to the discrepancies from the San Francisco State University president’s office as well.

“The CSU administration needs to stop hiding and come clean,” said Yee. “While they may not like the public scrutiny into their executive pay practices, they have a responsibility to the students and taxpayers of California to be fully transparent.”

“I am so disappointed in the CSU administration for continuing to hide compensation practices from public view,” said Portantino. “Our students, families and taxpayers demand and deserve better.”

“If they continue to dodge inquiries from legislators, reporters and the public, then I am prepared to call a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on California’s Public Records and Open Meeting Laws to get to the bottom of this latest scandal,” said Yee, who chairs the committee. “They simply do not have the right to use tax dollars as their own private piggy bank.”


Contact: Adam J. Keigwin,
(916) 651-4008