Half-time Interim Director at CSUF Paid $165,104
by Mark H. Shapiro
Although the California State University system is in the midst of a major budget crisis, a retired Cal State Fullerton administrator who was hired back as the Interim Director of University Planning received a salary of $165,104 this past fiscal year (according to the Sacramento Bee database of state salaries).
Because Michael C. Parker retired from Cal State Fullerton in 2005 where he worked as Chief Information Technology Officer and Professor of Counseling, he must, as a retired annuitant, work less than half-time in order to keep his pension income.
In 2009 his CalPERS retirement income was $105,129 according to information available from Californiapensionreform.com.
On a full-time basis, Parker’s salary would be equivalent to $330,208, which would exceed that of CSU Fullerton’s President, Milton A. Gordon, by some $28,166.
Even Parker’s part-time salary of $165,104, when combined with his CSU retirement income of $105,129 amounts to $270,233.
This would make him the second-highest paid administrator at Cal State Fullerton, just behind Gordon who received $302,042 in 2009, and well ahead of the next-highest paid administrator, head basketball coach Bob Burton, who received $213,007 in 2009.
The position of Interim Director of Strategic Planning probably is an important one.
Previous efforts at strategic planning at Cal State Fullerton have yielded little in the way of tangible results, in the opinion of many campus employees.
But given the seriousness of the current budget crisis, the current effort at planning may be more successful.
Nevertheless, it seems very unusual that a half-time Interim Director of Strategic Planning would be paid more (not including his retirement pay) than a host of full-time academic deans and other top-level administrators on the campus.
In fact, none of the academic college deans at Fullerton earned more than $160,223 in 2009, even though they work on a full-time basis.
The author has known Mike Parker professionally for many years, and considers him to be a decent and hard-working administrator.
But it still seems strange that he would be paid so much money for a half-time job that is important, but no more important than those of, say, the academic deans.
This is particularly true at a time when the University is working under extreme budget constraints.
One wonders if the taxpayers are being wellserved in these circumstances.
(The author worked for many years as a Professor of Physics at Cal State Fullerton. He also publishes The Irascible Professor, an online journal that covers issues in education. It is available on the Internet at http://irascibleprofessor.com/)