Friday, November 18, 2011

Bloat and Rot Start at the Top

There is a faculty strike out in California. The faculty are on strike because 1) they have been denied raises previously negotiated 2) higher fees and fewer classes for students. Who is responsible for this mess? Also:
There is also residual anger over the hiring of San Diego State president Elliot Hirshman last summer at a salary of $400,000 -- $350,000 in state funds and $50,000 from the school's fundraising foundation -- as well as a $1,000 monthly car allowance and free housing. Hirshman's predecessor was paid about $300,000 a year.
Jane Wellman, of the nonprofit Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, said, "These are tough times for higher education. The reality is that there is just not enough money to meet all the demands. It is a function of what happened with public revenues.
"Nothing is sacred in this environment," she said. "But cutting the chancellor's office will not solve money problems of this magnitude. No way."
Sure, but of course, it's a first step. let's say they cut all administrative leadership staff, president, chancellor, provost, deans, assistant deans, vice presidents, assistant vice presidents, junior assistant vice provost, etc, by 50% and take away half of their program assistants and reassign them to faculty, plus no car allowances, no free housing, and no guaranteed travel grants, they'd have to compete just like faculty do.

These steps would be an important first step in reigning in an out of control administration and its unnatural "compensation" packets, which would, or -- in any event -- could, foster a sense of shared responsibility and sacrifice between and among students, faculty, staff, and admin. The next step, obviously, is to raise taxes and fund higher education at an appropriate level.  

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