Jan 26, 2011 12:49 AM by Ariel Wesler

Cal Poly will have highest paid president in Cal State System

It appears Cal Poly's new president will become the highest paid president in Cal State system.

A subcommittee of trustees approved Jeffrey Armstrong's $350,000 salary earlier tonight. The entire board is likely to approve it tomorrow. Former President Warren Baker received $328,000. Armstrong will also get an annual supplement of $30,000 from private Cal Poly Foundation sources.

Some Cal Poly students say the top paid president should have to prove himself before earning more than his predecessor.

"I think the first priority should be improving our own school instead of giving a raise to someone who is new," said Sophomore Lauren Yannucci.

Aside from Armstrong's $350,000 salary, the state will also cover all moving expenses, including any fees from selling his home in Michigan, and give him a university car or $1,000 each month to use his own.

"There's a lot going on with classes being cut, so I don't think it's fair to the students," Sophomore Christina Sternberg.

Armstrong will be living in the president's house on campus and some students say they don't have a problem with that. Perks are necessary, they say, to attract the most qualified candidates.

"If he did have a pretty competitive resume, I feel like it'd be a fair assessment to give him a fair salary," said Junior Nathan Tonnemacher.

"It would be interesting to know if he would have come here even if he wasn't offered that increase because I think that really shows your true intentions," said Junior Namiko Uno.

For now, students are just hoping he'll pay it forward.

Armstrong will take command of Cal Poly February 1. Meanwhile, the budget crunch continues. The finance committee of the Cal State Board of Trustees just voted today to raise tuition for its Doctor of Education programs by 10 percent. The fee hikes take effect this fall.

San Jose State has the 2nd highest paid president at $328,200. Cal State Long Beach ranks 3rd at more than $320,329, but it has the largest enrollment with around 37,000 students. The president of Cal Maritime makes the least amount of money at $258,680. It has the fewest students.

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