Our View: Thank you, faculty, for your generosity

DKS Editors

Students may be rewarded for faculty’s hard work – at least that’s what the faculty union is urging.

The American Association of University Professors is asking the 819 tenured and tenure-track faculty members who are set to receive the $2,855 bonus checks to consider donating the money to a worthy cause: student scholarships or local charities.

“Given that these bonuses are higher than we had imagined and that many among our students and our communities are struggling, the Association encourages you to consider giving back,” AAUP president Kara Robinson wrote in the e-mail.

Faculty members interviewed for the Daily Kent Stater story yesterday said they’re already considering the kind act. And for that, we owe the faculty a big thank you.

The administration started the success pool program as an incentive to increase fundraising, research and student retention. The plan worked. Provost Robert Frank announced in late August that the faculty would receive a bonus.

In today’s sluggish economy, a $2,855 check isn’t something to shrug off, especially around the holidays. It’s remarkable some faculty members are giving even more. After all, their hard work has already helped the university reach its goals, which indirectly benefit students. Their gesture proves they really do have students’ best interests at heart.

The administration should take notice. The next time a Faculty Senate meeting erupts in discussion, it shouldn’t be viewed as another instance of the faculty flexing its muscle. Their arguments are not always self-motivated: They know students’ needs and what works and doesn’t work inside the classroom, a place the higher-ups rarely visit.

We’ve previously thanked President Lester Lefton and others for similar deeds – and we would do so again in the future – but we can’t help but emphasize the faculty’s generosity.

Money Magazine ranked “college professor” the third-best job in the country this year. (We’re sure professors agree their job has its merits.) Still, let’s be honest: Professors won’t be moving to the Hamptons any time soon with their salaries. That’s why their donations mean that much more.

Students, take this opportunity to thank your favorite professors for their hard work. Their daily work resulted in the university making great strides forward, and now it could be helping finance your college education.

We don’t expect all bonus recipients to donate their checks to scholarships. Their personal financial and family concerns should take precedence. Even if 100 kind faculty members donate their checks, the potential is enormous – $285,500 to be exact. Mathematics aside, we’re humbled by the gesture and appreciate the daily good deeds by faculty members.

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