Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Addendum to last post: Where is the F@#kin' Money Goin' To?

So the question is asked, where is the fuckin' money goin' to? if San Diego State is charging hand over fist for every little thing. Well, the dirty truth is that the California State University system has become a wealth-hording mechanism for this tiny clique of college presidents, all of whom now make anywhere from over $300,000/year to just over $500,000/year. SDSU Persident Adela de la Torre makes $533,148 every year now. 

Above: A 2022 chart of all the CSU schools, their presidents, how much their salaries have gone up, and if free housing is provided. The red line points out SDSU. Chart released by the California Faculty Association and used in the Peter Herman op-ed linked to above, "Hefty Raises Show CSU Values Administrators Over Faculty and Students", Times of San Diego, 08-18-2022.

Besides the CSU presidents, all the administrators got seven percent raises, while the professorate negotiated for a four percent raise and only got a three percent raise because one hundred million dollars was taken out of the CSU budget by the state government. Herman claims that even the four percent raise was behind the rate of inflation. And then there's the housing issue....

Back in 2000, Malin Burnham (a Point Loma real estate mogul), John Moores (then-owner of the Padres baseball team) and some other benefactors bought the SDSU presidency a house in the Alvarado Estates gated community, which was occupied by then-president Steven Weber. After Weber, it was Elliot Hischman's address, but in early 2018 the Aztec Shops paid 2.8 million dollars for a house on the same street (Yerba Santa Drive) and the new president wasn't even chosen yet! Adela de la Torre has been living in it for five years -- it came with a four car garage, a pool, a putting green, and a Zen rock garden. 

Bonus: The Strange, Fragmented World of the SDSU College Republicans

The College Republicans at San Diego State are an interesting picture, because while the College Democrats run a competent and quiet organization, the other side has been involved in a large amount of drama since 2016; first they invited David Horowitz* to speak, and his fliers created a near-riot. Then they tried to ape the UCSD Republicans and have Milo Yiannopoulos come speak in the then-new student center, only to have the college say "no" by claiming they would need multiple bomb-sniffing dogs and beefed-up security (you have to remember there were violent protests at Berkeley when Yiannopoulos spoke.) Because the organization was no longer under the SDSU Associated Students umbrella due to something that happened 10-15 years ago (I cannot find it online), they made the crazy choice to "un-charter" themselves in January of 2019, cutting themselves off from the California College Republicans organization because they wanted to keep their same president, Madison Marks-Noble, who graduated the next year anyway.

So what is "fragmented" about it, the reader may ask? Well they don't have a consistent online identity at all; is this their Twitter account? Or is it this? According to this Facebook account (which is linked to the second Twitter account), their chapter is the only legitimate one on campus, but the older one is still operating. Is this a breakup, or two factions competing? And to make things "worse", SDSU has its own Turning Point USA outlet, to ratchet up the confusion. And all the while, the SDSU Democrats just keep chugging along....

* Not to be confused with this guy:

Sunday, July 9, 2023

An update on San Diego State (It's not looking good.)

We last wrote about San Diego State University in 2018, mocking their then-newish Engineering building and all the damn ofo rental bikes dumped on the campus. Things have gone downhill since then. According to Peter Herman*, professor of English and Shakespeare scholar, the main library (Love Library, opened in 1971 and named after ex-SDSU President Malcolm Love) is crumbling to pieces; they could not take a massive collection of Jazz/Blues/Gospel/Funk records all recorded by Black artists from an emeritus UCSD English professor (Bram Dijkstra) and his wife Sandra because the library cannot control humidity to a level where LP records and their sleeves aren't slowly being damaged, because it would require a new HVAC system for the space where all the records would be kept (plus the listening space where people would actually listen to the music, probably on headphones) was "too much of an expense." They literally have small dehumidifiers in the stacks to suck out the moisture, and the garbage cans the water is pumped into have to be drained multiple times a day. Also the exterior of the building is losing small chunks of concrete; "A colleague tells me he has seen 1,000-year-old cathedrals in better shape."

It's not just Love Library - the Life Sciences complex either reeks of saltwater in the Oceanographic section or like a greenhouse in the Botany section. The place is split between "north" and "south" sections; the former is where the greenhouse is and dates back to 1962, the latter is connected to the long patio (collonade? loggia?) that connects Hepner Hall to Hardy Tower. The school wants to demolish Life Science North and replace it with a slightly larger building, but the funding has not been scrabbled together.

This is a college where you pay one-hundred and eight American dollars to graduate, where they no longer hand out parking stickers if you drive to the campus, but the price to park keeps rising for the privilege of getting you license plate scanned. A school with a bookstore that charges "new" prices for "used" paperbacks in literature classes just because they can. A body of higher learning so terrified of their own football team, they would not investigate a recent gang rape case by ex-SDSU football players in 2021 that only surfaced in 2022 because the student victim didn't go to the SDSU police. It's now a civil case, because the SDPD and the District Attorney were unwilling to charge anybody for anything.

The final cut to all of this is the probable 2027-2028 enrollment cliff Dahn Shaulis has written about a lot; the students that weren't born during the Great Recession's worst period are going to start making their absence felt in a few years, so it might get very easy to get into SDSU because they will be desperate to find any students at all. Will the education be worth anything? Only time will tell.

Above: The better days of 2011, when Elliot Hirschman ("President Slick") was in charge.
Below: The "Living Horror of COVID" message from President Slick's successor.