The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

    Conversation with CSU Trustee Faigin

    Douglas Faigin visited Sonoma State on Nov. 15.

    The California State University is the largest public university system in the U.S., and one of it’s trustees visited Sonoma State on Nov. 15.

    The CSU Board of Trustees is a group that votes on decisions such as appointing or firing university presidents and chancellors, approving various system policies and even raising tuition.

    CSU Trustee Douglas Faigin. (California State University)

    Douglas Faigin was appointed to the Board of Trustees by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2013 and still serves on the board today. He is the president of the largest regional wire service in the country, City News Inc. Faigin has worked with Gov. Brown as his Press Secretary and was the deputy campaign manager for Brown’s 1978 reelection campaign. “[Brown] felt, I guess, that maybe I could contribute something with my experience and outlook on life, so he asked me to do that. I said okay,” Faigin said.

    According to, there are currently 25 trustees serving on the board, 16 of which were appointed by the governor and serve eight-year terms, two student trustees, one alumni trustee and one faculty trustee, each of which serves two years. Non-voting members include the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the assembly, state superintendent of public instruction and the chancellor of the CSU.

    Trustees also do not receive a salary for their service on the board with the exemption of the Faculty Trustee and the Chancellor.

    Upon Trustee Faigin’s request, the Star acknowledges Faigin is speaking as an individual and not on behalf of the Board of Trustees. Trustee Faigin will be concluding his second term at the beginning of 2025 serving 12 years as a trustee. “It’s obviously an honor and important appointment, and you hopefully have some significant impact on the CSU, people’s lives and the state of California,” Faigin said.

    CSU students currently face a multitude of challenges and feel anxiety associated with an impending tuition increase, a possible faculty strike along with increasing housing costs and food insecurity.

    In September, the CSU trustees voted to approve a plan that would increase tuition over a five-year period.

    With the support of Student Trustee Aguilar, Trustee Faigin proposed an amendment to the plan that would decrease the number of increasing years to three but the board denied the proposal, according to the Signal Tribune.

    Trustee Faigin says that despite the tuition increase, the CSU is doing their best to support students and make a quality college education as accessible as possible.

    Since the release of a sexual harassment audit earlier this year, SSU students have even more to worry about, Faigin says that Title IX concerns are the top priority for CSU trustees, “It’s a major, major issue, but it’s been right at the top of every- one’s concerns, and spent a lot of time money and effort trying to figure out what it is that we can do about it.”

    Faigin also says that students can directly influence the trustee board meetings by participating in the open forum portion of their monthly meetings.

    “I would guess that 70 to 80 percent of the people speaking in those public comment times are students,” Faigin said. “Not only do we listen, but we end up among ourselves talking about what the students said and their perspective and it really does have an impact on what people think.”

    Another way students can get involved with the trustees is through the California State Students Association. The President of the CSSA presents in every board meeting and highlights what the CSSA has been up to and what Students are concerned about.

    Through the CSSA, students can apply to become student trustees for an opportunity to vote alongside other trustees.

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    About the Contributor
    Veda Dean
    Veda Dean, Arts & Entertainment Editor
    Veda Dean is a fourth-year Communication and Media Studies Major from Amador County, California.
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