We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when the California State University Board of Trustees voted last week to raise tuition on students, for the second time this fall, within moments of voting to give San Diego State’s new president a whopping $400,000 a year salary.

That’s $100,000 more than the new guy’s predecessor and more than any other campus president. Meanwhile, beleaguered students were made to pay a new 12 percent tuition hike on top of a 10 percent hike already approved last year.

Not surprisingly, the University of California Board of Regents weighed in a few days later, with a 9.6 percent tuition hike that comes on top of an 8 percent hike from November.

We know both systems’ actions are a response to the state budget crisis; we understand that leaders at these institutions feel they have few choices. But increasing the burden on students with one hand while greenlighting the trend in ever-spiraling compensation packages for top administrators? Not cool.

Both systems seem to be punishing students without fully exploring other alternatives, such as administrative reductions and, in the case of the UC regents, addressing inequity issues that include a failed and conflicted investment record that is not helping UC’s overall financial picture.

Both institutions appear clueless.

Let’s hope they tire of hearing people say so.