Fighting the downsizing of education at the University of Vermont.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tell the Free Press UVM should downsize from the top

Today's Free Press has one editorial on UVM cuts and one op-ed by a UVM faculty member and United Academics officer:

The editorial takes an unwarranted jab at Carmyn for calling for Fogel and the trustees to go. It's not "ludicrous" to call for the ouster of a CEO whose administration, as the Free Press put it in a September editorial, "squandered millions." What's ludicrous is for that CEO to be permitted oversee the layoffs of dozens of workers.

But the Free Press editorial also gives a good angle for us to all sit down and write letters as Paul did yesterday: With a list of the steps the administration is taking besides the planned layoffs (top-tier administrative salary freezes, cap on building projects and borrowing, allowing some vacant administrative posts to go unfilled), the editorial states "These steps are the *minimum* the university should be doing if the financials are forcing layoffs."

Yes, the minimum: The maximum of what UVM should be doing isn't just freezing top-tier  salaries that have grown sevenfold under Fogel but cutting them. How many staff,
 lecturer, and maintenance worker jobs could be saved if the president, vice presidents and vice provosts, deans, associate deans, and sundry directors and senior liaisons all accepted a salary for the next three years of $100,000 a year (and no extra housing and car allowance for Fogel)? What's unreasonable about that? What is it about $100,000/year that these folks find impossible to live on?

The editorial also makes a second important point: that the proposed 6% tuition hike for UVM next year runs well ahead of what people will be able to afford. Another reason to keep arguing for downsizing from the top.

Letters to the editor can be sent the Include a phone number where they can reach you for verification.

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