Students foot more of the bill for the University and its high administrative salaries, often through high-interest loans, than the entire state appropriates. With students shouldering such a large burden, how can our administrators see it reasonable to offer exorbitant salary raises and “transitional” packages for the top executives of this institution, while lower-level staff regularly find it necessary to unite to fight for their own pay and benefits?
The University is paying the new athletics director, Norwood Teague, $50,000 more per year than it paid Joel Maturi, with bonus options of up to $150,000 more. The last time a janitor retired, did his or her replacement get an offer like this?
A Board of Regents committee is also currently discussing “transitional” leave packages for administrators. The committee chair, Richard Beeson, says that it’s difficult “to recruit and retain people for these positions” and that he doesn’t want to take power away from the president to offer these packages. Low level employees don’t get anything close to the same treatment.
A clear delineation between the uppermost tier of University employees and the rest is painfully obvious. Executives are receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses for doing a good job. But isn’t that what we pay them an already high salary to do, a good job? Every time we replace a top executive, does their salary really need to jump 14 percent or more?
We need to break away from the justification that “everyone else is doing it.” It doesn’t make it right or justified. The University is not a private business, and academia demands alternative ways of thinking. The state is losing its faith in this institution, and the students are, too.
UMN students have traveled to Florida colleges to collaborate with students on various projects.
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