The head of Fresno’s community colleges just got a pay raise. And tuition is rising

This article originally appeared in the Fresno Bee on Jul 18, 2018

The head of community colleges in Fresno received a pay raise that will eventually bump his salary to $321,421 per year, months after supporting a tuition increase for out-of-state students.

State Center Community College DistrictChancellor Paul Parnell will get a 6 percent raise effective July 1, 2018 and another 6 percent next year, “contingent upon the Chancellor receiving a satisfactory evaluation for the 2018-19 year.”

Parnell also had 1.5 percent added to his paycheck retroactively from last July, and received an additional one-time bonus payment of 1.5 percent.

The district’s trustees approved the increases in a 5-1-1 vote, with Trustee Miguel Arias voting no and Trustee Eric Payne abstaining.

Trustee Bobby Kahn said the district was acting on the advice of its human resources department, which has found it difficult to attract candidates to the Central Valley.

“They’ve told us there are job applicants who may not want to live here, especially if our compensation is below the average,” Kahn said. “We want the best and brightest for our students, and then we want to retain them.”

Kahn said the district looked at comparable salaries for heads of community college districts in the San Joaquin Valley, as well as the entire state, and found that Parnell was making less than the median.

Parnell’s salary and benefits totaled $275,000 per year in 2016. Kahn said the median salary calculated by the board was $300,000.

Kahn added that he felt Parnell had earned his raise, ha