At first glance, providing a few faculty/staff with housing (Housing Projects on the Horizon, 10/6) for between $300,000 and $400,000 seems like a good solution to the housing problem.
Upon further review, however, I believe it is a long-term waste of money. First, even at these prices most new faculty will not be able to afford the monthly payments. Why? Because most new young profesors are hired at a salary of 50k (yup, that is right!), even though most are Ph.D.s with years of industrial or postdoc experience and many have families to support.
In my opinion (and many of my colleagues), the money would be better spent upgrading faculty/staff salaries. Many students with BS engineering and sciences degrees start at $65,000 (and at age 23, not 30-plus).
The faculty and staff salaries in the CSU are pitiful to say the least.
The state and the CSU have long been balancing their budgets this way. Unless we turn this around and plan to attract the best people, this cheap approach will result in ever-decreasing quality of higher education in California.
Having taught in the CSU for over 35 years, I have never seen the state plan this way, so I can pretty solidly predict that, sadly, this will NOT happen. The evidence indicates that California could care less about the state of its public higher education systems.
As future tax-paying citizens, students should be very concerned about how their taxes are being spent.
A.J. Buffa, Ph.D.