Thursday, March 4, 2010

Local reporting on March 4 rally

" the issues they came to address are bigger than tuition and furloughs and salaries. Decisions by the administration — financial and otherwise — must be more transparent, said Ron Greene, a communication studies professor. “[There’s] a call for a true, honest dialogue with faculty and sharing the governance of the University,” Greene said. Geography professor Bruce Braun echoed the sentiment: “Right now, we have an administration that I find to be quite isolated from the faculty. “[They] make decisions we have to implement, decisions about what education should look like, about what programs should look like. They’ve got it backwards right now.”"

"“I would vote for it,” said Ben Munson , professor in the department of speech, language and hearing sciences. “I’m happy to share in the sacrifice.” Munson said faculty need to realize that budget issues need to be addressed by everyone. “There are three camps of faculty in this University — the ones that know it’s not going away, the ones that think it’s a ploy by the administration to cut things they don’t like and the ones who've got their heads in the sand,” he said. Faculty who were not willing to voice support for the furloughs questioned the transparency of the University in its budget process. They said they want to know the answers to the technical questions before they vote on the matter."

"The plan has already drawn support from some committee members, with professor Walt Jacobs applauding the administration for “spreading the pain around so that it protects jobs as much as possible.”...“I am one of the people that live paycheck to paycheck. I can’t afford a furlough,” said Amy Selvius, a secretary at the Global Studies Institute and a member of AFSCME Local 3800. She questioned the need to mandate furloughs when “over 250 administrators make over $200,000 a year."”

"Faculty member Eva von Dassow told Bruininks that instead of budget cuts and furloughs, the school should reduce the salaries of its highest paid executive staff, and forgo a planned 2 percent raise for all employees. "That wouldn't make it necessary either to raise tuition, or to close needed programs, or to cut more faculty positions, or to cut curriculum and courses that students need and that they were promised," von Dassow said."

""We're part of something larger," Professor August Nimtz told people gathered on the steps of Morrill Hall, the main administration building in Minneapolis. He said the struggle to defend public education goes beyond the immediate financial woes of the university and the state of Minnesota to a broader economic crisis affecting people and institutions around the world.""

TELEVISION COVERAGE, WITH VIDEO!!! "Barbare Bezat, an archivist who makes less than $50 thousand a year, said not all workers can afford to take a pay cut by being forced to take unpaid vacation days."We are dedicated employees. We're committed to helping resolve the budget crisis. We're simply asking that it not be done on the backs of the folks that make the least," Bezat said."

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