Monday, March 22, 2010

The Daily Questions

University of Minnesota

President Bruininks'

Salary Cut Proposal

The University should not hastily approve any pay cuts.

During spring break, University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks announced a last-minute change to the furlough plan that all University employees would be subject to. Instead of workers taking three furlough days and executive administrators taking six, those who aren’t hourly workers will take a 1.15-percent pay cut and executive administration will take a 2.3-percent cut. The plan remains unchanged for hourly workers.

There are several glaring flaws in the plan, not the least of which is the timing of the announcement only 10 days before the intended vote and during spring break. The University of Minnesota’s Faculty Senate intends to vote on the plan Thursday, which is not enough time to properly review and debate the plan.

There are many questions the administration will need to address; for example, how will they ensure that the missed work of a furlough day will not need to be covered by paying someone overtime to do it? Will hourly workers lose a full day’s pay in one paycheck, or will the loss be spread over all their paychecks?

Once again, the savings of this plan are a temporary solution to an ongoing problem. University employees will have a scheduled two-percent pay raise pushed back, but will still receive it eventually. Tuition increases, on the other hand, are in effect indefinitely. Students shoulder an unfair share of the University’s financial burden in the long term. If there truly is a “new fiscal reality” as the administration claims, permanent solutions — not temporary fixes — should be the goal. The administration and faculty senate should take more time to resolve these issues rather than hastily approve an underdeveloped plan.

Well put, Daily.

Once again the Morrill Hall Gang demonstrates the kind of behavior for which they have become famous. The timing - over Spring Break - is indeed suspicious. They were aware for quite some time of the amount of money they would be getting from they State Legislature.

And yet, they dawdled. In fact they have been aware for years of the coming financial crisis.

Although Our CFO claims to have been aware of the 27 week paycheck situation, he also acknowledges having done nothing about it.

It also appears that the President's request to the Faculty Senate to vote on a salary cut on the 25th is in violation of the tenure code.

Leadership matters. Time for a change?

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