Contact: Claudia Keith, ckeith@calstate.edu or Clara Potes-Fellow, cpotes-fellow@calstate.edu, (562) 951-4800

CSU Board Revises Policy on Executive Transitions

(November 15, 2006) – The California State University Board of Trustees today adopted changes to its executive transition program which allows the university to benefit from an executive’s accumulated experience following their resignation. The revised policy limits eligibility to those former campus presidents and executives who intend to return to an identified position with the CSU. In addition, executives will not be eligible for compensation under the revised program if they retire or if they are receiving any non-CSU income.

“It is appropriate that the board periodically review and update existing policies,” said CSU Board of Trustees Chair Roberta Achtenberg. “The policies governing executive compensation have been modified over the years, and the revisions made today will enhance the transparency of CSU’s operations, as well as increase communication to the public.”

The CSU’s current executive compensation policy for departing campus presidents and other executives, called the Executive Transition Program, was adopted by the board in 1992 and modified in 1997. As part of the executive’s employment agreement, this program entitles executives to one paid transition year after leaving office. The salary formula is the midpoint between the executive’s salary and the 12-month full professor salary range maximum.

Under the revised program, there is no guaranteed salary level or length of transition period. The duration, duties and salary for each agreement is negotiated by the chancellor, which is similar to the practice of many of the comparable institutions to the CSU. To be eligible for a transitional program, the executive must:

  • have served 5 years in an executive position of the CSU
  • be in good standing at the beginning of the program
  • have an identified position in the CSU to return to after completing
  • not accept non-CSU employment.

Currently, there are 22 executives eligible to participate in the Executive Transition program, and they will be grandfathered into the existing program. Executives hired after November 15, 2006 will be subject to the new provisions.

In order to enhance the transparency of the program, each trustee will receive a copy of individual transition agreements, which will be also be included as an information item on the board agenda and discussed in open session. The chancellor will also provide an annual report on all transition agreements to the full board in open session.

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Last Updated: November 15, 2006

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