Oakland attorney named to CSU Board of Trustees

Gov. Jerry Brown today announced his appointment of Rebecca Eisen, 62, of Oakland, to the California State University Board of Trustees.

Eisen, a Democrat, is a partner in Morgan Lewis‘s labor and employment practice, and leader of the practice in the law firm’s San Francisco office; she’s been a partner at the firm since 2003. Earlier, she was an attorney at Brobeck Phleger and Harrison from 1980 to 2003, serving as a partner there from 1989 to 2003.

She is president of the board of directors of the Oakland School for the Arts – a charter school Brown helped found while serving as Oakland’s mayor – and has been a board member since 2007.

Eisen holds a Master’s degree in English from San Francisco State University and a law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. This position requires state Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem.

The 25-member Board of Trustees meets six times per year to adopt rules, regulations, and policies governing the CSU system; it has authority over curricular development, use of property, development of facilities, and fiscal and human resources management.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • rew

    I’d like to see Ms Eisen do something about the bloated CEO-like pay packages being paid to CSU Presidents. Voters continue to be disgusted in these $300,000 salaries being paid to college presidents, which includes gargantuan pensions after they retire. Additionally, during this hideous recession the Chancellor kept granting raises to administrator types who work at the Long Beach CSU headquarters. The Chancellor just thumbed his nose at taxpayers and students, and so did many on the CSU Board of Trustees.
    Significantly, as the Chancellor was hiking pay for Long Beach paper pushers and college Presidents he was also raising tuition to pay for these bloated pay packages, which led to many low income students dropping out of the colleges, or other low income students not even applying. Classes have been cut at all the campuses across the board, yet the pay and benefit packages of these big shots at the top continues to go through stratosphere.
    In recent years many – including myself – believe the elites in the US – the people at the top, have been letting the average citizen down. Greed – an especially virolent form of greed, seems to be the order of the day with those at the top now. We are finding this on Wall street, in corporate offices, and even in the CSU system. In my mind the last place you ought to finding a culture of greed is in the CSU system, these are public colleges, they were set up to educate kids from moderate and low income families. They were not set up to provide CEO like perks and benefits for the people that run them. I sincerely hope Ms Eisen keeps this in mind when she serves on the board.

  • JohnW

    Just asking a question here. Is $300,000 really so out of line for a college president?

    I totally agree about the pension issue.

    As for salary, $300k is still very good, even here in the Bay Area. But it is also very common among people in management ranks, high level sales, doctors, lawyers, tech professionals etc. A tugboat captain makes more than $400k.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Mitt would take the job for a dollar a year.

  • moderatevoter

    John W, I meant to write $400,000. As I remember it, the new President of San Diego State is making 400,000. Generally these college Presidents get free housing too, I recall when I was at CSU Chico the President had a stately mansion on campus he lived in. I do think $400,000 is excessive compensation for a state college President, especially in light of the ongoing budget crises. Bear in my there are like 24 state colleges, each has a President drawing down CEO-like pay.Significantly, these raises being given to college Presidents recently happened during a time when state coffers were empty, all up and down state cities, counties and school districts have been forced to make these horrific cuts to vital programs, yet this Charles Reed – the outgoing State College Chancellor – was scheming to get all these paper pushers in Long beach massive raises. Legislators were so fed up they whacked the state colleges even more. Reed, and his cronies in Long Beach, only seem to have one thing on thier minds, which was how can we get our pay, benefits, and perks up high enough so we can buy boats and vacation homes. Problematic is these awful tuition hikes were being absorbed by kid’s who were working at these 9 dollar an hour jobs putting themselves thru college. It’s trickle up economics, the hard earned dollars of these college kids are now trickling up to these spoiled pampered state college paper-pusher administrators, like Charles Reed. Who, by the way, are always retiring because they’ve got these massive pensions now.
    I think we need reform at our state colleges, Brown has been prudent as Governor, doing a lot of reformist style cost cutting, and I’d like to see his appointment to the board of trustees – Ms. Eisen – do the same at our state colleges.

  • JohnW

    Re: #4

    There is no question colleges and universities have not done a great job of managing costs. However, the bigger reason for the hefty tuition increases is that the state’s share of funding (relative to tuition, fees and research grants) for higher education has declined dramatically over the past 20 years.

    I’m going from memory here, so don’t hold me to the numbers. But I believe the share picked up by the state has declined from about 70% to more like 15% these days. The state spending on higher ed has been crowded out by rapid growth in spending on prisons and Medicaid.

    As Mike Huckabee once described his job when governor of Arkansas: “Educate, incarcerate and medicate.” The incarcerate and medicate parts have been eating up greater shares of the budget.