10.6.11

COPING WITH TIGHT BUDGETS.  Where faculty have unions, administrators lose some flexibility in freezing salaries.  But procedural protections do not necessarily satisfy everybody.
”All [Grand Valley State] employees last year agreed to freeze wages….”  You’ll note that paragraph doesn’t say something like “All GVSU employees agreed at the last possible moment, with no explanation or discussion about it at all to freeze wages….”  That’s a critical difference, in my view.
That's in Michigan, where the students are also pawns in the power struggle between legislators who don't want to appropriate money and administrators who don't want to raise tuitions ... never mind if classes are cancelled and faculty who have other options pursue them, with hiring of their replacements put on hold.

Northern Illinois University does not have faculty unions, and there is close to a fifteen year backlog of merit raises postponed (there have been occasional attempts to raise faculty salaries in an across-the-board way).  There is the same power struggle.
University officials are are still waiting for $43 million in funds from the state with only two weeks left in the current fiscal year. Creative budgeting, reallocated funds and careful use of tuition dollars are what’s keeping the university in operation, [president John] Peters said.

“We cannot possibly raise tuition at a level to offset the state’s delinquency, nor should we ever contemplate that,” Peters said. “We will not fail [students], despite the state’s problems.”

With unpredictable state funding, Peters said student retention and enrollment are the university’s priority. The university is depending more on tuition revenues that are critical to keeping the university operational, he said.
But where departments are not able to staff courses, the best efforts to recruit students and keep them engaged will come a cropper.

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