Students give enough to the university

Ted Hamilton

I know it’s going to sound strange to some of my fans – and let’s not forget to apologize to the people who send the hate mail – but I disagree with the administration’s new “share the wealth” idea.

While rewarding workers is a good business strategy, I fail to see how it works in a public university setting. Our university requires a lot of donations from alumni and other individuals to stay afloat and what Lefty-bear’s experiment does is take some of that and give it as a bonus to professors. I doubt the philanthropists who donate their money expect it to be given as a bonus to a faculty member. Instead I think they expect it to help students, like using the money to decrease our tuition, ever so slightly. Furthermore, since when did every professor deserve a bonus? I have had several professors I would gladly support a pay increase to, but almost as many I would rather see not working at the university in any capacity.

That is not saying professors do not deserve an increase in salary because they do – especially when compared to the increases the administration has been getting. According to the April 4 copy of the Bargaining Bulletin, a newsletter for AAUP-KSU’s tenure track faculty, the president has seen a 47 percent increase in salary over the past seven years while the provost and vice president of business and finance have seen increases over 40 percent. While the university struggles with state budget cuts, why has the administration been increasing its salary hand over fist? Its almost like they have forgotten about the faculty or the students.

Oh, wait, never mind.

How could I ever forget the farce that is the Campaign for Change? Students donate money for a scholarship and hope they win the lottery against others who also donated money. The scholarship is not much more than a joke when you think about the bonuses the administration gives itself. I hate to beat a dead horse, but in my Jan. 25 column, “More to salaries than donations and tuition money,” I point out the combined salaries of the top administrators is well over a million dollars. Think about the scholarships people could win with a tenth of that money, especially when last year’s four recipients of the Campaign for Change scholarship only received $500 a piece.

I find it funny – not in the “ha-ha” way but in the ironic way – that the administration expects students and alumni to continue to donate money when hundreds of thousands of dollars go from our hands to their personal coffers. I even know of at least one student who received a call asking for a donation months before she even graduated. Tens of thousands of dollars in debt, yet they have the nerve to add her to the call list.

We struggle to pay rent, live off of tuna, peanut butter, Ramen and KeyStone Light, yet the university somehow thinks we have enough money to spare for a donation. With their wasting of untold amounts of dollars on contracts with companies whose job is to manage our cafeteria and restaurant managers (Sodexo ring a bell with anyone?) and thousands of dollars in wage increases for people making over six digits, why should students have to donate anything?

I am sorry but with the downtown bars increasing prices to make up for rising prices, my $10 is going to a gift for myself – and I will not have to play a lottery to get it.

Ted Hamilton is a senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].