Many California Faculty Association (CFA) members are outraged over the California State University’s decision to hire former CSU Chancellor Barry Munitz, who will teach one class and receive a salary of $163, 776 – far more than other faculty salaries.
“I am absolutely flabbergasted that the system, the CSU, would suggest this as an appropriate opponent,” CFA Vice President Lillian Taiz said.
The CFA is upset “first of all because of the particulars,” CFA President John Travis said. “They’re hiring someone who has had difficulties in the community – (he has) a cloud of ethical proprieties hanging over him.”
Munitz, who left the university eight years ago, will be teaching one class at the Cal State Los Angeles English Department, unlike other professors who teach about nine classes. Munitz will also help with fund-raising for some other departments, Travis said. “It’s pretty vague.”
In 1997, the university made an agreement with Munitz that guaranteed he could return as a “trustee professor” which is why the university re-hired him, Travis said. The CSU said his salary would be halfway between what he was making as chancellor and what the highest professor is paid, which is where the $163,776 figure came from.
“For him to come back at a salary at two times as much as the full-time professors, (it’s) not a very wise use of the CSU’s money,” Travis said.
The CSU believes the letter was “a letter of offer; it’s not an official contract,” Travis said.
Part of the members’ outage is due to student fees increasing 76 percent in the last three years while the top CSU executive salaries have only increased by an average of 13.7 percent (not including perks), according to a letter sent out by Travis and Taiz.
“We’ve brought this to the attention of several places,” Travis said. The CFA has sent a letter to California’s Attorney General Bill Lockyer “that questioned the propriety of the CSU doing this.”
According to a San Francisco Chronicle article, “Munitz headed the huge system from 1991 to January 1998, when he left to become president of the J. Paul Getty Trust, which, among things, owns and operates the Getty Museum in Los Angeles County. He resigned from the Getty Trust earlier this year after allegations surfaced about his spending practices there. The attorney general opened an investigation last year into whether the trust’s expenditures during Munitz’s tenure violated the trust’s tax-exempt status.”