The Irascible ProfessorSM

Irreverent Commentary on the State of Education in America Today

by Dr. Mark H. Shapiro

Breaking News - November 9, 2010.  Half-time Interim Director of University Planning at CSU Fullerton Received $165,104 in FY 2009.

The Irascible Professor has learned that in spite of the major budget crisis a retired Cal State Fullerton administrator who currently is working as the Interim Director of University Planning received a salary of $165,104 for this less than half-time position.  Michael C. Parker retired from Cal State Fullerton in 2005 where he worked as Chief Information Technology Officer and Professor of Counseling.  In 2009 his CalPERS retirement income was $105,129 according to information published in the Orange County Register.  As a retired annuitant of the California Public Employees Retirement System, Parker is allowed to continue working for the CSU provided he works less than half time.

If annualized, Parker's salary of $330,208 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, though in the Irascible Professor's estimation most previous efforts at strategic planning at his home campus -- CSU Fullerton -- have come to naught.  Nevertheless, the Irascible Professor finds it very odd that a half-time Interim Director of Strategic Planning earns 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 deans at Fullerton earned more than $160,223 in 2009, and those are full-time jobs.

The Irascible Professor 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 at such a high amount for a half-time job that is important, but no more important than those of, say, the academic deans.  And, this is particularly true at a time when the campus and CSU is working under such extreme budget constraints.  One wonders if the taxpayers are being well-served in these circumstances.

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