Letters to the Editor

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 11, 2009 7:20 AM

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Cut top salaries, not TA positions

Since the threat of job cuts this summer, the UI administration has acted irresponsibly. I am amazed by such comments as, “We are not an employment agency” (Gary Fethke, UI business professor and former interim president, quoted in the Oct. 19 Daily Iowan). In addition, while not finding it possible to save the jobs that existed until now, Provost Wallace Loh does not want to give up on certain pet programs such as the Iowa Promise plan to hire “100 new tenured faculty” (DI, Oct. 26).

At the UI, more than $14.5 million is used to cover the salaries of 68 administrators, according to the Campaign to Organize Graduate Students. It is obvious where cuts need to happen. This elitist club is content to cut jobs while feeling comfortably secure within their own over-paid positions. It is not surprising that their focus is not on saving the jobs of the average wage earner but to use the budget to initiate programs that will look good on their résumés when they apply at more “prestigious” universities.

Instead of cutting the six-figure salaries of administrators who have done little to benefit students, those administrators propose cutting the TAs who work with students every day. It is time for all students to consider how they should respond. I admired the recent protest by graduate students, and I hope to join them on a Friday afternoon in the near future.

I have written to Rep. Mary Mascher, D-Iowa City, and Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, who should provide oversight and encourage university officials to worry about their own over-paid positions before cutting other people’s jobs. I encourage you to contact them as well.

Shad William
Iowa City resident

Administrators need to sacrifice too

I think that in light of the recent news that students will likely be “asked” to sacrifice an additional $100 in the form of a tuition surcharge, it is appropriate to ask what sacrifices other prominent members of the UI community are making to help this great university survive tough economic times.

Iowa football head coach Kirk Ferentz and men’s basketball coach Todd Lickliter both make millions. I feel as though it would be an important show of solidarity for these individuals, as well as other prominent members of the UI community, to sacrifice some of their income as well.

Practically, it may not amount to much, and it certainly won’t fix our budget woes. But it would send an important message to the students: We feel your pain, we share in these difficult times, and we’re going to make a sacrifice as well.

I know I would feel a lot better (still not happy, but better) about my own sacrifice if I knew that others in the UI community, in particular those in better financial situations than I, were making them too.

Ben Colwell
UI pharmacy student

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