Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Share the Sacrifice

from the Minnesota Daily

Amidst widespread cuts over the summer, faculty and staff at the University of Minnesota College of Design took the phrase “shared sacrifice” seriously. To prevent layoffs, five of the College of Design’s top staff took a dramatic 10 percent decrease in salary, saving the University $115,000. Seeing high-paid staff sharing the burden of cuts is refreshing, and we should see more of it. That is exactly what the clerical workers’ union — AFSCME Local 3800 — and others demanded last Thursday at their “chop from the top” rally.

The numbers are striking: 254 University employees have salaries (not total earnings) of over $200,000.

Besides straight salary cuts, the University could afford to consolidate its central administration. We have 40 employees with “vice president” in their title. Their collective salary amounts to $8.4 million, equivalent to the combined yearly tuition revenues of nearly 750 in-state undergraduates or the salaries of 84 faculty (at $100,000 per year).

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