Home » Burlington Free Press » Voice of the Free Press: Business as usual at UVM—Burlington Free Press—05/22/2013

Voice of the Free Press: Business as usual at UVM—Burlington Free Press—05/22/2013

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Aki Soga, Editorial Page Editor. Original editorial: May 22, 2013.


This is a curious way to say “thank you” to Vermont taxpayers.

The University of Vermont is paying its new provost, David V. Rosowsky, $105,000 more than his predecessor, Jane Knodell.

Rosowsky assumes UVM’s second highest administrative post with an annual salary of $375,000 plus a $1,000 a month housing allowance or free university housing and $75,000 for his research.

This comes on the heels of an aggressive push by Gov. Peter Shumlin to put more state money into the state colleges — $2.5 million to the University of Vermont, the Vermont State Colleges and the Vermont Student Assistance Corp. — to help hold down tuition increases.

University administrators can argue all they want about having to pay for quality people and having to compete with private businesses for top talent.

The real question is, should a public university be hiring people who will only work for top corporate pay?

High-priced executives, especially at state universities, is just one more symptom of a higher-education system that’s lost its way.

The last decade has seen grandiose student centers and residence halls with country club-like amenities become a regular feature on too many campuses, while out-dated science labs and other teaching facilities too often are down on the list.

Even the administrators called it an arms race, a game of one-upmanship pitting each school against all others.

The buildup was accompanied by rising college costs that far outpaced inflation or increases in most people’s incomes.

Those who run and oversee UVM — a board of trustees that includes the governor and legislators — swore they learned a lesson after being hit with heavy criticism over the very generous compensation given to Dan Fogel as he stepped down as university president in 2011.

There was promise of more accountability and fiscal responsibility. By the looks of the provost pay package, we’re back to business as usual at UVM.

Comments

Linda Paquette May 23, 2013
And we wonder why Vermont is in such bad financial shape?

Patty Quinn Baumann · Clinical Research Coordinator at Fletcher Allen Health Care May 23, 2013
I could not agree more with this Voice of the Free Press.

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