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8:30 a.m., Jan. 19
The San Diego State University Research Foundation, the board of which is dominated by highly paid university officials, has given $6,125 to a campaign fund boosting Proposition 30, Governor Jerry Brown's measure to raise California taxes.
The powerful tax-exempt non-profit corporation acts as gate keeper for all manner of government and private money, lobbying for, collecting and doling out cash for everything from the SDSU-controlled KPBS TV and radio news operation to real estate development to federally-funded university research.
The president of the foundation’s board is SDSU president Elliot Hirshman, controversial for his $400,000 annual salary, officially opposed by Brown.
Much of the rest of the board is made up of other high-ranking campus administrators and professors, all on the state payroll.
They include Sally F. Roush, the school's vice president for Business and Financial Affairs; Stephen Welter, vice president for research & dean of graduate affairs; and Nancy A. Marlin, the university's provost.
Outside directors include Kim E. Barrett, professor of medicine and dean of graduate studies at UCSD, another state taxpayer-funded institution.
The executives are some of the university's highest paid employees. In 2011, according to a database of state salaries maintained by the Sacramento Bee, Roush made $230,400; Marlin got $260,259; and Barrett was paid $193,350.
According to a disclosure filing posted online yesterday by the state Secretary of State's office, the SDSU foundation's contribution was made on Monday of this week to a fund calling itself the "California Coalition for Public Higher Education Issues Committee-Yes on Prop. 30."
As previously reported, non-profit foundations controlled by state universities across California have been contributing to the fund in an effort to pass Brown's tax measure and achieve the defeat of Proposition 38, a competing tax hike proposal sponsored by attorney Molly Munger.
In San Diego county, the Palomar College Foundation gave $2400 on September 11, and the University Auxiliary and Research Services Corp. of California State University at San Marcos came up with $2950 on September 12.
Sources say the statewide fundraising effort was coordinated from Sacramento.
According to a 2010 financial disclosure report filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the SDSU foundation paid $180,000 to the Washington, D.C. lobbying firm of Carpi & Clay to engage "primarily in activities that involve the competition for federal funds."
And at the same time SDSU officials are battling to get the Brown tax hike passed, they have been advertising for new public relations person to plant positive stories touting their operation of the school.