Friday, March 12, 2010

The latest op-eds from the Daily

The Daily is stepping up its coverage of the budget cuts. The links below are opinion pieces. The editors seem to share our lack of faith in top administration.

"Last Thursday, I observed a protest organized by numerous student groups. The point was to send a clear message to the top administrators of our University: Students pay too much to go to school here, and top administrators get paid too much to work here...The message was clear: If the administrators at the top of the University’s payroll would take a modest pay cut, they could prevent tuition hikes and cuts to programs and salaries of University employees who often live paycheck to paycheck. After following the passionate crowd for a while, I found it hard to argue with their logic. Why scrimp dollars from the bottom and jeopardize the well-being of many when you can easily find what you need at the top without endangering anyone? Why pay our head basketball coach and president so much money when we could use that money to enrich our programs and make them more available to everyone?"

"Effectively and equitably filling that $80 million hole will require the cooperation and buy-in from all of this University’s disparate stakeholders — students, faculty, staff and administrators. Actually doing this has been deeply hampered by the complexity inherent in a $3 billion budget and by the University leadership’s unwillingness to clarify, quantify or explain it. The massive financial system requires 380 pages of account descriptions, and even a consolidated annual report weighs in at 86 pages. Rather than provide more succinct, accessible spending breakdowns, administration has chosen technocratic obfuscation. It is time for a University budget summit to bring the community together to publicly explain, hear, defend and to solicit input. Individual meetings between college deans, union representatives, faculty or student groups prevent a wider analysis that can more holistically build a better budget."

"If students and families want to avoid a repeat of 2002-2005, when tuition increased 56.8 percent, the time to get active is while budget cut strategies are being discussed."

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