The salaries of most CSU presidents may not be as competitive as similar public universities across the nation, but the job comes with a few perks that compensate for the high cost of living in California.
The 2018 CSU Executive Compensation Summary details housing benefits for presidents.
Twelve university presidents are compensated with an annual housing allowance ranging from $50,000 to $60,000, according the CSU Chancellor’s Office.
Ten presidents have housing provided for them, including CSUF President Fram Virjee. His residence, El Dorado Ranch, is about three miles from the main campus.
San Diego State’s interim President Sally Roush was the only president to waive the housing perk.
Another presidential benefit is a car allowance.
According to the CSU, 21 presidents receive an annual $12,000 car allowance. Horace Mitchell of CSU Bakersfield and Karen S. Haynes of Cal State San Marcos receive a car allowance of $9,000 a year.
Spouse/Partner Travel Benefits
Twenty-one CSU presidents with spouses or partners are allowed to take them along for university business using state funds, according to the CSU.
The spouses/partners are also covered for workers’ compensation. To make this work, spouses and partners are designated as university “volunteers.”
According to the CSU, 16 of the 23 presidents have academic tenure in their contracts, which would allow them to return to the classroom after serving as president.
Elizabeth Chapin, public affairs director at the CSU, said it’s common for presidents, after they’re done fulfilling their duties, to return to teaching under academic tenure.
“It’s a way to retain that knowledge and that expertise as a resource for the university,” Chapin said.