Bipartisan opposition to Chancellor’s "waste of tax dollars"
November 30, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--Senators Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) and Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) have sent a letter to Robert Linscheid, Chairman of the California State University Board of Trustees, regarding what they call the gross misuse of state tax dollars to develop and distribute a 2011-12 Legislative Report Card of the administration’s top priorities, which included advocating for pay raises for top executives.
The legislators’ letter asks Linscheid to account for the spending on the report card and asks who approved the expenditure of tax funds.
The legislative scorecard – issued by retiring CSU Chancellor Charles Reed – rated legislators based on their votes on 24 bills that impacted the CSU. In addition to their voting records, extra points were given to legislators who authored bills that were viewed as favorable by Chancellor Reed and points were deducted for legislators who authored bills that he viewed as unfavorable.
Not a single legislator received an ‘A’ rating on the scorecard. Anderson says that's not surprising. His website notes that some of the bills used to develop the rating were aimed at limiting executive compensation so that more money makes it to the classroom instead of being gobbled up by wealthy administrators – bills that the CSU administration opposed for their own self-interests instead of the interests of students and faculty. While such bills were opposed by Reed, they received bipartisan support in the legislature and were supported by the rest of the CSU community, including students, faculty and alumni.
“It is incredibly upsetting to see such waste and misuse of CSU funds – especially at a time when tuition rates are skyrocketing and students are struggling just to get by,” said Senator Anderson. “We need to get serious about CSU funding and ensure that the maximum amount of dollars makes it to the classroom, instead of being used for unnecessary and self-serving projects like the Chancellor’s legislative scorecard.”
“Based on the Chancellor’s positions on legislation, I am proud of my D score on his report card,” said Senator Yee. “Rather than fighting for students and faculty, the CSU administration used taxpayer funds to advocate for themselves and their fellow top executives. It is unconscionable that they opposed legislation that would have stopped executive compensation increases, limited student fee hikes, protected workers, and reformed the Board of Trustees. The Chancellor’s report card is a sham.”
The letter to Chairman Linscheid is below.
The entire scorecard can be viewed here:
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November 1, 2012
The Honorable Robert Linscheid, Chairman
Board of Trustees for the California State University
c/o The Linscheid Company
555 Main Street, Suite 200
Chico, CA 95928
Dear Chairman Linscheid:
We are deeply concerned with the recent actions of retiring CSU Chancellor Charles Reed, specifically his inappropriate use of state tax dollars and CSU employees for the research, development and distribution of his “2011-12 Legislative Scorecard.”
Reed’s poor judgment and apparently unchecked access to CSU personnel and tax dollars is troubling. Equally troubling is that this scorecard attempted to paint legislators negatively, even going so far as to give a poor record to those who voted to limit executive compensation – legislation that was supported by CSU students and faculty, but opposed by the administration.
We hope that you and the other Trustees have now put procedures in place to monitor Mr. Reed’s actions during his final days as Chancellor.
Additionally, we have several questions that on behalf of the taxpayers we are requesting answers to:
- Did you, another member of your Board, or the Board as a whole, know of Reed’s scorecard project before its distribution last week?
- Were you, another member of your Board, or the Board as a whole, provided with a proposed budget for the cost of the scorecard project before it was initiated?
- Did you, another member of your Board, or the Board as a whole, give Reed prior approval for his scorecard project?
- Did you, another member of your Board, or the Board as a whole, approve the use of CSU personnel and monies for the scorecard project?
- Can you please provide us with a detailed listing of the full cost of the scorecard, including a list of all staff hours of CSU personnel used on the scorecard project?
- Were any paid or non-paid political consultants or outside vendors used on the scorecard project?
- If any political consultants or outside vendors were used, can you provide their names and a detailed listing of the services they provided as well as any payments they received?
Thank you for your immediate assistance on this matter.
Senator, District 36
Senator, District 8