Tuition increases at the California State University system may be have become a regular tradition, and the statewide network may have shut off enrollment for the spring 2013 term due to the state’s seemingly unending state budget crisis. But CSU Fullerton is still going ahead with a $300,000 remodel of incoming president Mildred Garcia’s university-owned home. The money won’t come from state funding, but instead from a campus auxiliary organization.

Yet, that perk comes in addition to a contract which gave Garcia a base salary of $324,500, the maximum pay raise allowed for her transfer as outgoing president of CSU Dominguez Hills in Carson, California Watch reported. She’ll also be given free housing and an annual $12,000 car allowance.

California Watch reports:

Also in March, CSU Fullerton began work on fixing up Garcia’s future home, the historic C. Stanley Chapman house, also known as El Dorado Ranch. Located just a few miles from the downtown Fullerton campus, the two-story, eight-bedroom, 5,800-square-foot house is nestled on a 3.9-acre parcel with a tennis court. The property was last assessed at $3.4 million in 2011, property records show.

Before outgoing CSU Fullerton President Milton Gordon and his wife moved out of the estate in February, they resided there for 22 years. University officials say the house is in dire need of repair. It has received light maintenance over the years, but no major renovation since 1951, Bugbee said.

But some say the move shows the university’s misplaced priorities during lean times - whether it involves state funding or not. For the cost of the renovation, the university could pay for roughly 49 full scholarships for CSU Fullerton students, for example.

Meanwhile, CSU faculty are expected to wrap up a vote today over whether or not they will strike, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Since 2008, the San Francisco paper reported, the CSU system’s budget has lost $970 million in state funding. This year’s tuition hikes were passed in response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s $650 million budget cut for the 2011-2012 year.

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