Fighting the downsizing of education at the University of Vermont.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Letter of Demands From SSU to the Board and Administration

Over the past few months, Students Stand Up, in solidarity staff and faculty, has stood in firm opposition to the budgetary actions of the UVM Administration. The Administration's approach to reconciling the budget gap has crippled our community with layoffs, will overburden staff and faculty, will make attendance less affordable and will erode the overall quality of our educational experience. Students Stand Up, representing over one thousand members of the student body, has demonstrated these grievances but has been met with little more than condescension and confounding campus-wide emails that skirt the gravity of these proposed cuts. In defending the principles of this university, Students Stand Up advocates for a just and democratic response to the situation. To this end, we demand the Administration of the University of Vermont comply with the following:

1. Revoke all dismissals and non-reappointments thus far issued.

2. Terminate all plans for more layoffs and non-reappointments of staff and faculty.

3. Return positions that have been reduced to part-time back to full-time status.

4. Issue a statement of neutrality respecting the right of staff and faculty to organize.

5. Disclose all budget reconciliation options that were reviewed and considered prior to the decision to initiate layoffs.

6. Disclose all information related to administrative compensation and bonuses.

This includes reasons for compensation beyond base pay salary.

7. Return all administrative bonuses from FY `08 and FY `09 to the UVM general fund.

8. A reduction in administrative compensation has the potential to preserve faculty and staff whose jobs are being eliminated to meet the deficit. Therefore, we call for the administration to return their salaries to the 2002 level.

9. Pursue all legal options to utilize the university's endowment to close the FY `10 operating budget gap.

10. Cap rate of tuition and room and board fee increase at corresponding year rate of inflation.

11. Negotiate with students, staff and faculty a more democratic decision making process by which students, staff and faculty have a decisive role in decisions regarding budget reconciliation.

12. Cap student body population at Fall 2009 levels.

13. Reinstate the varsity softball and baseball teams

In recognition of the fact that we students, along with staff and faculty ARE the University of Vermont, we take on responsibility to protect what makes it special and to maintain and improve opportunities for learning and growth for future students. This responsibility, in the face of the great threat to UVM posed by the administration's recent propositions and actions, justifies the escalation of our tactics to ensure that our voices are heard and that the administration changes its course in compliance with these demands. We do so with no other motivation than to preserve the university we love.

We will commence escalating action until these conditions are fulfilled. Furthermore, we anticipate and will be receptive to direct communication from President Fogel or other Administration regarding the above demands. Should the Administration refuse to meet these demands we will call for President Fogel's resignation.


Students Stand Up


  1. The right of faculty and staff to organize? Who denies that right? Let's try to get past the rabid, reflexive populism. Don't forget, the administrators have, in fact, frozen their own salaries. Meanwhile, the faculty are getting more raises for each of the next three years. There are 221 UVM professors making 100k or more for nine months of teaching. That's three times as many profs as were making six-figure salaries before the beginning of this administration. The faculty at U-Mass Amherst have agreed to a pay freeze to help their university. Not so for the UVM faculty. Just more raises, on top of the over 40% salary increases most of them have seen in the last several years.

    In case you've missed the point, let me make it again. Administrators at UVM have frozen their own pay. Meanwhile, amidst the budget crisis, all these six-figure profs will continue to get more raises in each of the next three years. You'd think it might occur to some of these bourgeois revolutionaries to direct that critical lens inward.

  2. By the way, here's the publicly available salary data for UVM, including the hundreds of UVM profs making six-figure salaries for nine months of teaching.

  3. Matthias is apparently unaware that the UVM base salary listing includes Medical School faculty, who are not paid from the UVM general fund, not represented by United Academics, and not teaching UVM undergraduates. The overwhelming majority of people in the UVM base salary listing above $100,000 are Medical School faculty, current administrators, and former administrators who have hung on to their administrative salaries.

  4. That is an interesting point. I had not considered it.

    Nancy is apparently unaware that the average full professor at UVM, not including medical faculty, earns $104, 978 to teach nine months a year. All of these non-medical, six-figure profs will continue to get raises in each of the next three years.

    Nancy has apparently forgotten that her own salary has increased by 89.6 percent since the 2002-03 academic year. Here are the links:

    How much of that astronomical increase has Nancy offered to give back? Oh, she'll be getting more raises for each of the next three years.


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