It’s March, and that means it’s again time for San Diego State University Month, when the taxpayer-funded institution flexes its public relations muscle and shows off to local denizens what all that money is ostensibly buying, other than rowdy mini dorms and noisy traffic jams. With the state budget crisis worsening seemingly by the minute, it seems appropriate to review the salaries of SDSU’s bigwig administrators, who take home far more than the county’s median household income of less than $50,000. Thanks to a new web service just mounted by the Sacramento Bee, citizens can look up the compensation of virtually every state employee, including those of Cal State, where a large number of administrators pull down well more than $200,000 a year.
On SDSU’s well-heeled list is white-bearded president Stephen Weber, with a base salary of $299,435. (His executive assistant, Lena Rodriguez, also doesn’t do too badly, picking up $106,002.) Vice president for business and financial affairs Sally Roush, whom many see as the real power behind the sometimes-befuddled Weber, isn’t far behind him at $230,004. Provost Nancy Marlin earns $235,002. Doug Myrland, who runs the university’s KPBS broadcast arm, also somehow finds himself nestled comfortably in the school’s well-paid administrative ranks at $218,004. Mary Ruth Carleton, V.P. of university relations and development, gets $225,000; student affairs vice president James Kitchen earns $200,004.
A rung or two lower, business dean Gail Naughton makes $195,000, and university PR man Jack Beresford, the brains behind the annual SDSU month, gets $110,268. By comparison, urban planning expert Nico Calavita, a professor, only makes $93,240. Similarly, rhetoric and writing prof Cezar Ornatowski gets just $91,104.
Of course, with the state’s hemorrhage of red ink, there’s no reason to limit the search to the city’s academic institutions. Judges are also included on the list, but they don’t get paid nearly as much as the crew at SDSU. Jan Goldsmith, on leave to run against incumbent Mike Aguirre and a raft of other contenders for San Diego city attorney, makes $178,788.96, as does his wife Christine, also a state judge. Other state employees in equally responsible positions make do with a fair amount less. Pedro Orso-Delgado, head of the Caltrans District 11 office here, gets $126,240.