March 1, 2012
Chico Enterprise Record
By LARRY MITCHELL
More members may have to leave the California State University Board of Trustees because they are unable to win Senate confirmation, according to state Sen. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale.
On Wednesday, Herbert Carter, the trustees’ chairman, had to leave the board because the Senate did not confirm his reappointment by Gov. Brown to a second eight-year term.
The 15-member Senate Republican Caucus took a united stand against Carter’s confirmation.
Confirmation requires a two-thirds majority vote. That meant if all Senate Democrats voted for Carter’s confirmation, at least two Republican votes would be needed as well.
Republicans indicated they opposed confirming Carter because of the Board of Trustees’ stances on raises for campus presidents while increasing tuition.
On July 12, the board voted to grant the newly hired president of San Diego State, Elliot Hirshman, an annual salary of $400,000, which was $100,000 more than the former president received. At the same meeting, trustees approved a 12-percent increase in student fees.
On Feb. 16, the Senate Republican leader Sen. Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, issued a statement on the question of confirming Carter.
He noted the governor had urged the board not to give Hirshman such a large salary, and said, “I cannot recommend that Trustee Carter’s nomination be confirmed by the Senate until such time as Californians see real evidence that the CSU trustees are making the tough decisions needed to control escalating costs that are being passed onto students and their families.”
The Senate did not vote on Carter’s confirmation. The Democratic leadership, which favored confirmation, didn’t bring the issue to a vote, apparently realizing they didn’t have the votes to win.
In a news story, the Los Angeles Times quoted state Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, as saying he would oppose confirmation of any trustees who voted for presidential pay raises when the CSU was in such fiscal trouble.
Asked about Strickland’s comment, LaMalfa said it was possible other trustees who came up for confirmation would fail to get it.
LaMalfa, however, said he would judge each such trustee on a case-by-case basis.
The next trustee who will need Senate confirmation is Steve Glazer, who was appointed by the governor last year, said CSU spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp. Once the governor appoints a trustee, the Senate must confirm the appointment within a year. Uhlenkamp said for Glazer, the year will be up at the end of April.
Two other trustees, Carol Chandler and Melinda Guzman, will end their first eight-year terms on March 1. If he wants to reappoint them for second terms, the governor will then have 60 days to do so.
The Board of Trustees vice-chairman, Bob Linscheid of Chico, said he thought Senate Republicans had refused to confirm Carter to spite the Democrats, who favored Carter’s continuing on the board.
Uhlenkamp said he’d hate for any other experienced trustees to be forced off the board.
“It’s a very difficult time — we’ve had over $500 million in cuts in two of the last three years,” he said. “Now, more than ever we need effective leaders.”