Thursday, July 22, 2010

More on MNSCU Idiocy

$300,00 in bonuses to administrators?

Executive summary: Pawlenty and Dayton agree on one thing: MNSCU bonuses inappropriate. Once again higher ed administrators in Minnesota immolate themselves. Is it any wonder why they are in such bad odor with the citizens, the lege, and the gov? To steal from Will: There is something rotten in the state of Minnesota.

I've posted earlier on this.

Casey Selix has an interesting post on the topic at MinnPost:

Even Gov. Tim Pawlenty thinks the $40,000 bonus for the chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system was a bad idea. Keep in mind that Pawlenty appoints members of the MnSCU Board of Trustees, who approved the bonus for Chancellor James McCormick.

MnSCU reportedly has given $300,000 in such bonuses this year. The board authorized McCormick's bonus on top of his $360,000 annual salary because he reached four of his five goals.

Meanwhile, MnSCU employees have been under a two-year wage freeze, and 550 positions are to be cut through attrition and layoffs in the system of 32 colleges and universities.

I asked for a reaction to the governor’s statement and she sent this comment from MnSCU Board Chairman Scott Thiss, CEO of Sailforth: "Now more than ever, the system needs a strong visionary leader. The board believes that paying for performance is the best way to assure that kind of strategic focus."

[Were the peons allowed bonuses based on performance, I wonder?]

Pawlenty also recently appointed former Republican state legislator Phil Krinkie, president of the conservative Taxpayers League of Minnesota, as an at-large trustee. I [Casey Selix] have a difficult time seeing Krinkie supporting future bonuses for public university administrators in tough times, based on what he told me last year in a story about the pay-cut trend. At the time, Krinkie, who owns a small business, had written op-ed pieces proposing that any government employees making more than $100,000 a year should take a 10 percent pay cut.

"The problem with pay freezes or furloughs is that they fall very unjustly across the spectrum," Krinkie said at the time. "If we look at pay freezes or pay reductions, it should be top-down — not bottom-up." The janitor making $25,000 to $30,000 is going to suffer more than someone making more than $100,000, he said.

Meanwhile, at least one candidate for governor has said bonuses for MnSCU administrators will come to an end if he is elected. Mark Dayton, a DFL candidate, showed his support for union protesters Tuesday.


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