On the morning of April 14, 2011, President Alexander Gonzalez met with students at their request in Sacramento Hall. The students had peacefully assembled overnight in a non-violent demonstration.
President Gonzalez listened and answered questions for approximately 30 minutes. The students presented him with a list of three demands and asked for his support on each. President Gonzalez agreed to post the April 14 demands on Sacramento State’s website, along with a response.
The student demands were as follows:
The following was provided by students:
Since 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13th, students at Sacramento State have been peacefully and non-violently occupying the lobby of their administration building. We met with Provost Joseph Sheley and Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs Ming-Tung “Mike” Lee and presented these demands:
We demanded a meeting with President Gonzalez to get his support for:
1. We want a moratorium on managerial raises and salaries. The fiscal priorities of this campus should be instruction.
2. We want President Gonzalez to publicly support Assembly Bill 1326 -- the oil and gas extraction fee devoted to higher education. This new revenue would decrease the impact of current and future budget cuts.
Here is the link for AB1326: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_1301-1350/ab_1326_bill_20110413_amended_asm_v97.html
3. We want President Gonzalez to publicly support Senate Bill 8—the UC and CSU auxiliary transparency act. This bill ensures that public university foundations are subject to the California public records law.
Here is the link for SB8: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_0001-0050/sb_8_bill_20101206_introduced.html
We invite all students, faculty, staff and the broader Sacramento community to read about this important information. This is a link to the government’s budget:
Leadership begins here. It begins with us, and it begins with you.
We were told that Gonzalez was not in town, and that he would be arriving the next day. 15 students spent the night in the administration building maintaining the area in its original condition, continuing the occupation throughout the evening and into the morning. At 7am, we met with President Gonzalez, with news stations covering the situation, with many reporters asking the President about his housing & car allowance and our other student demands.
President Gonzalez met with us, and agreed to place our demands on the campus website, with his responses to each demand written in detail.
We have received numerous supporters including: Senator Leland Yee, the author of Senate Bill 8 (CSU auxiliary transparency bill) called us this morning to express his support, saying had he known, he would have spent the evening occupying this building with us. Assembly members Anthony Portantino and Richard Pan both made appearances expressing their support as well.
Throughout the day, faculty have brought their classes and have held them in this building, where we have held teach-ins on the state of our education. We have had no shortage of food, music, dancing, classes, supporters, and solidarity. We would also like to mention that our police officers have been very professional and courteous.
The following is President Alexander Gonzalez' response:
1. I only have control over raises at Sacramento State, and even then, our campus must still abide by collective bargaining agreements negotiated between the California State University system as a whole and bargaining units for faculty and staff. Additionally, compensation for campus presidents is set by the CSU Board of Trustees.
I will raise this issue the next time I am in Long Beach to meet with the Chancellor and the board.
At this point for our campus and given the ongoing budget situation, I will not be providing any general salary increases at the managerial level unless specifically authorized by the Board of Trustees. However, the demand imposes unrealistic restrictions on only one group of employees – managers. It would deprive them of the same opportunities for promotion or reclassification or salary adjustments that remain available for faculty and staff.
Nevertheless, we have been extremely frugal with increases that do fall under campus control, and all Sacramento State administrators, including me, took reductions under last year’s furloughs like faculty and staff, except for some public safety and health employees. This amounted to about a 9.2 percent salary reduction.
In response to inquiries and in the interest of transparency, here is a summary of salary adjustments at Sacramento State over the last three years.
Over the last three fiscal years beginning with 2008-09, 19 managers received salary increases at Sacramento State. Ten of these positions are reimbursed or were not funded by student fees or General State Funds. There were also four reclassifications. The increases were granted in recognition of significant changes in job assignments, for promotions to higher levels of the Management Plan, to remedy salary equity issues or to recognize assumption of additional duties due to reorganizations for efficiency and resultant reassignment of duties. Of the total salary adjustments of $159,512, 38 percent ($60,720) was either reimbursed or paid from non-General Fund sources, which means state funds or student tuition fees were not used to fund the salary increases. During the same period, $38,300 in bonuses for managers were awarded, and of that amount, $22,000 was paid from non-General Fund sources.
In the same three year period, 210 faculty members were awarded promotions and received the salary increase prescribed by the faculty union’s collective bargaining agreement with the CSU at a cumulative cost of $1,087,179. In addition, 215 full professors received a combined $622,970 as part of a negotiated Post Promotion Increase salary adjustment, and 196 faculty members received negotiated Salary Equity Increases. Beginning in the fall of 2010, all faculty members received a .045 percent general salary increase, in addition to a 2 percent general salary increase in 2008.
Once again, my point is that Sacramento State abides by collective bargaining agreements with the CSU, and we have worked to be as responsible as possible with our limited resources.
2. In my capacity as a campus president, my public support of matters before the Legislature and/or the ballot is limited to those that the Board of Trustees has taken a position on. This is because such issues are issues of CSU system-wide policy that affect all 23 campuses. By taking a position on a system-wide issue without the support of the board, I would, in effect, be stating a policy that has not been adopted by the CSU.
In general, I support any action that would ensure greater support for the CSU, and I know other states have similar regulations. But even if my job as president permitted me to offer support, I do not know enough about the specifics of this proposal to make an informed judgment.
3. In connection with bills regarding public records and auxiliaries – such as University Enterprises, Inc.; Associated Students, Inc.; Capital Public Radio; the University Foundation and the University Union – the CSU and I have always maintained that private donor information must be kept private. If donor records were subject to public records request, donors would be less likely to give money for student scholarships and other initiatives that support academic programs.
Additionally, all CSU auxiliaries are nonprofit organizations with boards of their own and they must abide by all applicable rules and regulations under California law and CSU policy.
For instance, UEI Board meetings, agendas, and minutes are public. The UEI Board has faculty and student representatives on it, and financial information about UEI is available on the web.
In closing, I hope that we can all work together to stop future reductions to public higher education in California.