Our view: What could you do with $94,631.25?

DKS Editors

Probably a lot.

Well, that’s how much of a bonus President Lester Lefton received in May 2009. That’s 25 percent, one quarter, of his total pay.

Before you choke on your pencils, we’d like to note that Lefton’s bonus will be going toward a student scholarship. And he does not set his own raises or salaries, the Board of Trustees does. We hope that helps you feel better.

Lefton was in a league of his own in receiving such a bonus. “Executive pay at public universities rose just 2.3 percent from the previous year, and base salaries for one-third of the 185 public university presidents studied stopped growing altogether,” according to Tuesday’s article “Lefton’s bonus rises, despite the recession.”

As noted in the article’s headline, all this happened despite the recession.

Sort of sounds like opposite day to us.

Now, because there’s not much we can do at this point with the fact that Lefton gets paid in amounts most of us cannot even dream in, let’s imagine if the whole world worked this way.

What if, despite the recession, college became cheaper. Textbooks became available to us for free, and all the bars offered buy-one-get-one drink specials?

What if, despite the recession, grocery store produce (especially the organic stuff) dropped in price? If gas prices dropped significantly and hybrid cars were available at cheaper rates?

Clearly, this is all in a dream world. The economy would never recover this way. There is no way that when the economy struggles, the regular Joe’s pocketbook becomes thicker and the rest of the world makes his life easier. It just doesn’t happen.

But Lefton isn’t a regular Joe. He’s the president of a major state university.

And there isn’t much we can do about that. Instead, we can apply for the scholarship his bonus went toward (we aren’t sure of the name of it ourselves, yet), and we can always respond to his “In a Flash” messages suggesting other ways he can help us — financially or otherwise.

Granted, much of his job consists of fundraising and acting as the face of the university. But we are still his students and we have every right to send him a suggestion or two.

Besides, who doesn’t love mail?

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.