Scrolling Headlines:

‘Stopping Genocide and Mass Atrocities by Stopping the War Profiteers’ talk at UMass -

February 19, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 6 UMass Lowell for third time this season -

February 18, 2017

UMass hockey breakdown in final minutes of the second period on route to 5-2 loss to UMass Lowell -

February 18, 2017

Notebook: Jack Gibbs stars as UMass men’s basketball team drops game to Davidson Saturday -

February 18, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops another close game, falls to Davidson Saturday afternoon -

February 18, 2017

Local blogger Larry Kelley dies in car crash, remembered by community -

February 18, 2017

REPORT: UMass football to name Ed Pinkham as next defensive coordinator -

February 18, 2017

UMass students skip class to stand in solidarity with undocumented immigrants and refugees -

February 18, 2017

NPR Education Correspondent Eric Westervelt talks on future of education -

February 18, 2017

Faculty of journalism department discusses failures of journalism during Trump era -

February 16, 2017

UMass hockey prepares for third and final match-up against No. 6 UMass Lowell on Saturday -

February 16, 2017

Panelists hold discussion on embodying global coalitions -

February 16, 2017

Journalist speaks on criminalization of youth in the United States -

February 16, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse heads to Florida in search of first win of 2017 -

February 16, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to get offense back on track against Ohio State -

February 16, 2017

Duquesne stomps UMass men’s basketball 96-66 in Pittsburgh -

February 16, 2017

UMass softball focuses on mental approach ahead of Madeira Beach Invitational -

February 16, 2017

UMass women’s basketball drops eighth straight in loss at Richmond -

February 16, 2017

‘50 Shades Darker’ steams up all windows in the nation -

February 16, 2017

’20th Century Women’ is a love letter to women across generations -

February 16, 2017

To raise or not to raise

Although University of Massachusetts President Jack Wilson may not be one of the highest paid public university leaders, it is unfortunate that he accepted a 15 percent increase in compensation during a period where the school faculty, students and his counterparts at other universities are all enduring the pains of the current economic recession.

With the Commonwealth and UMass still struggling to develop strategies to close a budget gap that could top $100 million, it reflects poorly on his commitment to his own rhetoric that accompanied the sacrifices seen on campus over the past year.

The Daily Collegian reported last week that Wilson’s $546,000 compensation package for the 2008-2009 fiscal year includes a $425,000 salary, a $45,000 housing stipend, $25,000 in deferred compensation, $51,000 towards retirement and the use of a car, which ultimately boosts his salary by $72,000 this year. Wilson had the chance to turn down the raise in the same manner as he did the year before, and considering the state and nation’s dire economic reality, he missed a symbolically important opportunity to show solidarity with his faculty and students during a time when many are collectively forgoing pay increases.

Students are staring down a $1,500 fee hike, departments are maneuvering around budget cuts and hiring freezes and professors and state employees are facing layoffs, unpaid furloughs and diminishing salaries. Administrators should lead by example in these trying times, and not consider themselves above making the same sacrifices they expect of others.

Wilson has made such sacrifices in the past, including passing on the raise entitled to him last year, and taking a pair of two-week unpaid furloughs over the past 18 months. It is also important to note that quality leadership for any university does not come cheaply in this day and age, and with a ranking at number 50 on the list of top-paid public university administrators, Wilson’s compensation is approximately in line with his contemporaries.

However, if he had declined his second chance at a raise, he would not have been alone among university leaders. According the Chronicle of Higher Education, more than one third of public universities froze salaries for executives in 2009, and about ten percent have cut their compensation packages for administrators.

UMass has received more than $39 million in federal stimulus money so far, but as administrators have noted numerous times, once stimulus funds run out, the University is facing a “funding cliff” in a year or two. If this perfect storm of a situation occurs, it would no doubt lead to millions of dollars of cuts to essential faculty and services, with the consequence of destroying many of the positive gains the UMass system has made over the past decade.

Considering how unconscionable that scenario is to those here at the Amherst campus, Wilson and the rest of UMass’ administrative leadership should be weary of increasing their pay before the economic ship is righted, lest they lose the respect of the faculty and students whom are now burdened with sacrifices of their own; sacrifices that when considered collectively, are of enormous magnitude, and not to be taken for granted.

Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian’s Editorial Board.

Comments
One Response to “To raise or not to raise”
  1. Brilliant post. I hope other people had simple and on target posts such as your own. Thank you 🙂

Leave A Comment