Friday, May 7, 2010

Pay Cut at University of Minnesota

is a Band-aid


MARCH 25, 2010

Another senator stated that this pay cut is a band-aid and it will not save the University.

Perhaps it is better to chip in than refusing to help. It is possible that the symbolism is valuable by itself, which is why he will support the proposal.

However, he is angry and disappointed and understands why some faculty will vote against the motion.

He is mad at the governor and legislature for their short-sightedness, but mostly he is mad the University's leadership, which has too rarely made the hard decisions to prepare for their tough times. This leadership has also failed to offer a compelling vision and plan to reduce the scope of the University and maintain excellence.

This leadership has also bungled this proposal by confusing the issues, making it hard to get meaningful and consistent information, and losing the trust of many faculty. The real is issue is getting through FY12 and beyond.

No faculty member has opposed a temporary pay cut if it would solve the problem, but all he has heard about the future is a request to trust the administration while they present changing, half-completed plans for the future.

He wished the last few years had convinced him that the University had a vision and a strategy, but they did not.

Parceling out across-the-board cuts while proclaiming vague goals of excellence is no vision, strategy, or leadership.

He will vote for the motion because he values staff too much to put more of their jobs on the line. He hopes that the year that this vote buys the University is really used to do it right and not just have everyone in the same place in another year. Decisions in the next few months will determine whether the University sinks towards mediocrity or becomes a smaller but still shining gem for the state.

This is the time for leaders to step up and lead the University in setting critical priorities and making hard decisions.

Step up President Bruininks or step aside.

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