Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sacramento State President "Feels Like a Target"

Sacramento State campus president Alexander Gonzales feels unappreciated, according to a recent article in the Sacramento Bee:

His bosses at California State University system headquarters love him. His own faculty, not so much.
Turning his back on the "California State University, Sacramento" name, the disappearance of the trademark campus chickens, a $265,000 president's office remodel while older classrooms, labs, and offices decay, $27,000 to remodel his kitchen, a questionable $233,000 loan, a no-confidence vote from faculty, one of the lowest five-year graduation rates in the system, missed enrollment targets... all rewarded by the CSU:
Last summer, CSU trustees rewarded Gonzalez with an 11 percent raise, bringing his compensation to $295,000 in annual salary and another $72,000 in housing and car stipends.

Last week, a state audit questioned perks given to Gonzalez to help cover his move to Sacramento, including $27,000 to remodel his kitchen and a short-term home loan for $233,000 at 1.697 percent interest.
The $233,000 loan mentioned was from the campus foundation, and was given to Gonzalez when he moved from the San Marcos campus to Sacramento in 2003. University Enterprises, the campus foundation at Sacramento State, has rebuffed the Sacramento Bee's efforts to get a closer look at its activities, on the grounds that University Enterprises is not part of the university. The paper's editorial page editor, in a separate opinion piece, thought that failed the straight-face test:

It's obvious that University Enterprises wouldn't exist without Sac State. Sac State is a creation of the people of California. So it seems reasonable to think that the people of California have an intrinsic interest in how this foundation spends its money – money it got solely because of its affiliation with a public university – in support of the university the public created.

If state law doesn't enable the public – not just journalists but students, faculty and interested citizens – to find that out, then the Legislature needs to change the law.

This is the the taxpayer-funded public university system that the Governor feels should not have too much oversight because mandating public disclosure would be "micromanaging."

CSUS boss feels like a target (Sacramento Bee)
A peek inside a Sac State Foundation (Sacramento Bee editorial)

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