Shay Totten. Original article: April 8, 2009.
Not-So-Groovy UV — University of Vermont boosters scrambled last week after Rep. Don Turner (D-Milton) Thursday tried to attach some strings to the federal stimulus cash flowing to UVM.
In short, Turner wanted to withhold about $900,000 of UVM’s share of federal stimulus money. To get the cash, UVM would have to compel its top administrators to repay their recent bonuses, undergo an audit and freeze salaries for the roughly 40 administrators earning $150,000 or more.
Turner is upset UVM doled out bonuses while cutting the jobs of lower-paid employees and closing down the baseball and softball teams.
After his motion was resisted by the House Appropriations Committee and legislative trustees on the UVM board, Turner withdrew the amendment Friday. But he got his point across and is crafting a resolution urging UVM prez Dan Fogel and the trustees to look at administrative pay before cutting more jobs, and to take a public vote before eliminating programs or classes.
“UVM is an important asset, and I do not want to do harm to them, but I think all I was trying to do was bring some transparency and accountability,” said Turner. “It is a treasured institution, but as such it should not be exempted from public scrutiny.”
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