Cal State Fullerton President – Lifestyles of Our Rich Public Employees at the El Dorado Ranch

“It’s good to be king!” Indeed, if you are Cal State Fullerton’s president, Milton Gordon, you are living the good life at the old Chapman family property known as the El Dorado Ranch at 225 West Union Avenue. Gordon’s residence is a sprawling 4+ acre palatial estate sitting high in the Fullerton hills overlooking the commoners eking out a living below and no longer appears to be a working ranch despite its name.

The 8+ room mansion may be slightly dated from the 1950s but the age is compensated for by the 8 bathrooms!   The nearly 6,000-sqft palace was a gift to Cal State Fullerton back in 1989 from C.J. Chapman, Jr., Mary Anne Baine, Elizabeth E. Bowman.  They also gave the Cal State Fullerton Foundation $159,000 for maintenance.  Currently, this enormous public property is valued at $3,351,724 for tax assessment purposes (although the property is exempt from actually incurring property taxes).  I would guess the value to be more like $4,000,000 in a “normal” economy.  The secluded compound is an excellent destination for Fullerton residents and tourists alike to visit although there is no formal docent to guide you.

The real kicker is that the Chapmans stipulated in an agreement with the State that we, the taxpayers, have to house the university president there and maintain the houses and property.  Notice that I said “houses”?  That’s because there is also a guest house on the property to house the president’s assistant.  Nice perk for being an assistant to a university president.

It would have been nice if the Chapmans would have sold the property out-right and used the proceeds for a scholarship endowment.  The money would go to those who need it the most.  Milton A. Gordon is among the highest paid public employees earning $302,042 according to the Sacramento Bee!  I guess it’s hard to afford a Fullerton home on $302,042 per year.

The Chapman family has given and given and given to Orange County residents in one way or another, for many years.  We have all benefited from them in several ways.  Every time I have someone from out of town visit me at my college, I have to specify “Chapman Avenue in ORANGE, NOT FULLERTON.”  Then when I have out-of-towners visit mom, I have to specify, “Chapman Avenue in FULLERTON, NOT ORANGE.”  They still get it wrong…  In 1954 the Chapman’s were nice enough to build that nice university bearing their name where your son or daughter can attend for $18,750 per semester.

Here is an interesting fact: Milton A. Gordon was named CSU Fullerton president in August, 1990. So it seems that the Chapman’s and Gordon timed it just right to get the El Dorado Ranch in the hands of Gordon.  Gordon being a mathematician could do the math and see the sweet deal, leading me to wonder what more there might be to this back story.  For Gordon, it’s still good to be king!

12 Replies to “Cal State Fullerton President – Lifestyles of Our Rich Public Employees at the El Dorado Ranch”

  1. This is the same Milton Gordon that authorized using money, solicited as academic donations, to pay for his staff river rafting “team building” trips and gifts to retiring staff of televisions, flowers, etc. Apparently inquiries found the practice not to be illegal, but clearly unethical. Cal State follows the Fullerton motto of “it’s good enough.” Gordon is not even good enough.

  2. CSUF Student, if you disguise the protest as an event where Gordon can get attention he may stumble into the protest. By the way, he may need a map to the protest. He seems not to attend CSUF Baseball games, perhaps he doesn’t know where the stadium is located. I must add, he seems to find his way to the Baseball playoffs at the CSUF stadium as media attention is present. As I commented, he shows when it benefits him.

    1. Or maybe he has…I don’t know…a 35,000 student large University to run and doesn’t have time to be at EVERY sporting event unless it’s one of some significance to the school.

      1. Aw, c’mon. That guy doesn’t have a clue. I don’t blame him for not going to a dumb ball game. But I’ve seen him in action at CSU Trustees meetings. He’s totally lost.

  3. Gordon is completely clueless. Watch a perfomance sometime at the CSU Board meeting. I really think he’s senile.

  4. As a Titan alumnus, I hate to see CSUF’s president run down one of the largest universities in California. Gordon leads one of the most prominent educational institutions in our area, and he acts like a shadow on the landscape. I rarely see any effort on his part to promote the school to the community.

  5. Are you seriously going to accuse Dr. Gordon of being in collusion with the Chapmans to get that house donated? That’s pretty ballsy stuff right there.

  6. Umm unless your gonna include all the previous presidents who have lived in the house in the past and all the future presidents who will live there in the future you can’t point fingers at President Gordon. He gets to live in the house because he’s the president the house is meant for the president of the school to live in. Would you rather have no one live in the house and just let it sit there and have all that money be wasted for nothing? I’m gonna answer that for you and say no. Also if the Chapman’s made an agreement with the state there’s nothing you or anyone can do about it. President Gordon will continue to live there no mater what you write, and when he retires guess what the new president will move in there. So what point are you trying to make with this?

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