Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Accountability

This from Lauren Ohnesorge's article on the 17.7% cut being gleefully imposed on the NC University system by the new Republican majority in the NC General Assembly:
"...Repeated calls to Jonathan Jordan, the representative for the area that includes Appalachian State University who voted for the House budget, had not been returned at press time...."

Meanwhile, Dan Soucek in the NC Senate is dithering, trying for the optical illusion that what he independently thinks matters at all, because he'll never cast any vote in the Senate that his Republican overlords don't order him to cast.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why does the university insist on cutting jobs instead of unneeded capital improvements?

Anonymous said...

Jw, I doubt if you will post this, but why doesn't Ms. Ohnesorge look into and question ASU's use of the huge and increasing funds received from the state over the last several years? A good look at ASU's record in general would reveal quite a bit.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how the university's football facilities compare to the science facilities?

Olevet69 said...

The first to go will always be the arts and music

amjp said...

What most of these posters don't realize is that funds for capital improvements at a state university come from different sources, often bonds, than funds for academic and other programs. A university can't just shift money from one to the other, even if that might seem preferable to many people, both inside and outside of the school.

Anonymous said...

Republicans would be the first and loudest to scream if ASU cut its football program. Most of them would prefer ASU move up to the BCS Division, which would certainly be a money loser. My guess is that as higher education gets cut more and more, some Republican thinker will propose vouchers to facilitate college level home schooling.

Anonymous said...

And your point is?

Anonymous said...

amjp is correct. Funds for capital improvements are given with legislative authority and the university does not have any flexibility to use them in other ways. Likewise athletics programs and many other areas do not and cannot receive state funding according to NC Law. Their funds are from student fees, revenues, and donations like all the other auxiliary operations. University budgets and expenditures are not as simple as the politicians would lead you to believe.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter where the funds for unnecessary capital improvements is cut. They need to be cut.

One good position to cut would be that of the idiot sociology professor that wants laws passed to raise the minimum wage to $18.00 an hour.

Anonymous said...

Please list specifically the unnecessary capital improvements and their funding sources.

Anonymous said...

The new education building and moving the cultural museum for the nursing program are two to start with. The sociology professor was another.

It does not matter how they were funded. They are not needed.

Anonymous said...

How about a basketball arena that was specifically built to get a coach that left the school high and dry twice? What about the multiple theaters on campus when only one is needed? How about a transit system that has to be funded by the county instead of paying its own way? How all the employees that do not do their jobs because they are to busy working for the state employees' association?

Henery said...

Can't sit here and allow that last badly misinformed comment to stand. ASU DOES pay some 90% of the costs of Appalcart. The county and the Town of Boone pick up a minuscule amount, and agencies like project on aging contract for other services.

Anonymous said...

Henery, you are missing the point. ASU is mostly funded by the taxpayers. Take a look at how much the state has funded ASU over the years. And it has increased every year. For example, from fiscal year '03/'04 to '08/'09, ASU's state funding increased $35M+; from $88M+ to 123M+. These figures come from the fiscal division of the NC legislature.

Appalcart exists primarily for ASU. The buses don't carry that many people, and those that ride are mainly ASU students.

Anonymous said...

Either way, Appelcart is subsidized by tax payer (read my) money. It needs to be self sufficient or it needs to go.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Sociology profs could write legislation. I would be to differ on the need for the Education building. We did start as a teacher's college and Duncan Hall is in need of renovation and will serve as flex space for other areas. Be careful on the Theaters comments do you know exactly where the funding was from? The GMHCC also houses an academic program and does not belong to Athletics. It also provides for some community events that logically brings revenue to Boone IE Beth Moore.

Anonymous said...

Human Services is one of the fastest growing occupational areas that prospective students are interested in so why not meet the demand since ASU does not have a law medical or RX school. The new Heath Science building is on hold by the way. The cultural museum is the victim of the cuts currently being pursued. Do you all actually understand the economic impact that ASU has on the community and the economy as a whole. Some will argue that it is too much, which would be true if you liked a much less populated community. The answer isn't just cuts it's about reforming the budget process and tax code.

Hererietta said...

Well Henery, If ASU does pay 90% of Applecart, then it does look like this would be a place to cut spending instead of employees.

Liberal POV said...

Henery

The Republicans never let facts or truth get in their way. Facts and truth are what they call the liberal media.

Anonymous said...

The cultural museum was all ready there. It was cut so the university could enlarge an expensive an necessary program. We need to put the museum back where it was and do away with the other idea.

The basketball arena was built for that purpose and is owned by the college. You are just playing word games. No matter how the theaters were funded, they do not need more than one. The money could be better spent somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Lib, are you confusing continuous reckless spending with facts and truth?

And since when has the MSM been concerned with facts and truth?

Anonymous said...

Let's look at the theaters
Valborg= Used by the Theater and Dance department well suited for smaller performances and instruction.
Farthing Auditorium= Large size auditorium suited well for larger events including concerts and other performances. Used for Appalachian Summer events, which brings in a lot of economic impact to the county.
Rosen Concert Hall= School of Music, specifically designed for concert performances.
IG Greer= Old music building currently houses Philisophy and Religion among others. Used for student activities and smaller events. Many of these buildings have existed for many many years and have provided a lot of economic benefit for the community. The NC Constitution requires Higher Ed to be free where applicable. Therefore we should be increasing funding to make it more affordable. Again this is not about cuts its about the budget process and tax code. This is the way to address this perceived waste. Keep in mind that the UNC GA has pushed all the universities to grow and ASU has due to the fast growth of NC. Now we are supporting a lot more with a lot less. Again University budgets are not as simple as you may think. But you won't believe me anyway so I just wasted my time trying explain.

Anonymous said...

One last comment on my day off. Funding sources do matter because of legislative restrictions placed on different types of funds whether they be trust, State, foundation, endowment, grants, capital improvements, and restricted and unrestricted. You can't legally just do what you want with these it often requires legislative action. The cuts only approach does not address the problem. I wish the current legislature would take on the Republican from Greensboro's idea looking at a zero based budget where expenditures are planned for rather than agencies getting a lump sum they feel they have to spend. But no one is talking about the real problem.

Anonymous said...

If funding sources come from taxes, then they do not matter. Cut the wasteful redundancy and save tax money for other needed things like maybe jobs. If it takes legislative action to do this, take the action. It will give the wasteful libs something else to whine about.

Not Really said...

The administration at ASU has done a pretty good job up until now of managing budget cuts without sacrificing positions. But they've already cut just about all they can, and the reductions being proposed in the House and Senate will mean job cuts. As others have said, money for capital improvements and certain programs comes from different funds. Sorry of that's hard to wrap your head around, but it actually makes a lot of sense (e.g. the fees students pay to live in dorms go to a fund for dorm building and maintenance).

As for the sociology professor that one of the many anonymous posters likes to pick on, I'll bet his salary is nowhere near that of the business faculty or any of the numerous deans and other administrators. If there's any bloat in higher education today, that's where it is - salaries for most faculty members at public institutions have remained stagnant for the last decade and the number of tenure-track positions has dwindled. There are adjunct professors at ASU teaching full time and making less than $30,000 a year, and these are people with professional training equivalent to that of a doctor. So much for the idea of fat cat professors living large! Sadly, these are the same people who are most vulnerable to budget cuts.

Anonymous said...

You would lose that bet, but why would that matter? The professor is an idiot that is making to much if he makes fifty cents a day. A fool such as this has no business in education.

Not Really said...

Anonymous, have you actually gone in and compared that professor's salary to the average salary of an administrator or business faculty at ASU? If so I'd like to hear your findings, but if not please refrain from asserting that I'd lose my rhetorical bet.

Also, I find it troubling that anonymous and others think themselves fit to judge the qualifications of a professor based on one anecdote, likely taken out of context. I'm no expert in the field of sociology, and I would guess that none of the other posters here are either. I'll leave it to the Dept. of Sociology to judge the merits of their faculty.

Anonymous said...

Not Really: Acc'ding to the latest available (2007-2008) AAUP surveys and from ASU's own sources, w/o benefit packages, ASU's average full professors make $86+K and $84+K; assoc. professors make $71K+ and $70K+; assist. professors make $59K+.

Since fiscal year 2004-2005 and thru 2008-2009, ASU employees have been given pay raises. They were not COLAs.

These salaries do not include any recent increases.

Some examples from the latest available data, a few top administrators and some full professors, plus dollar value of benefit packages, as of 2006 -2007 data:

Peacock $249+k, Aeschleman $189K+, Randal Edwards $169K+, Jane Helm 156K+, Harry Davis $126K+, Borkowski $128K+, Gerald Debusk $102K+ (Debusk - Assist. Prof.)

Also, there is the rather common practice of County officials giving professors' spouses county jobs, to boot.

Anonymous said...

But Dan wants deeper K-12 cuts and less cuts to the universities?? That's crazy! K-12 teachers with doctorate degrees make somewhere in the $50 range. Does it seem that university professors are "worth" so much more? I know for a fact that, on average, they don't work any harder!!

Not Really said...

Anonymous, thanks for making my point. While your data on averages gives no indication of what any one professor earns, it is clear that administrators are making 3-5 times what the average assistant professors makes.

I'd also like to note that the one assistant professor whose salary you cite at $102,000 is in the College of Business. Again, thank you for providing data that backs up my assertion. If you check salaries of assistant professors in the Fine Arts, English, History and Sociology, you'll find that they're solidly in the $45,000-$55,000 range. Those hefty salaries for Business professors are what push the overall average up to $58,000. If you look at the assistant professors earning over $70,000 a year, nearly all are in the College of Business.

I should also say that I don't necessarily begrudge administrators their higher salaries. But in times of budget austerity and talk of job losses, maybe a reevaluation is needed. If all the top administrators would agree to a %10 pay cut, the money saved right there could fund between 5-10 full-time teaching positions. And the administrators would all still be making well over $100,000 a year.

I also think that professors with years of hard work and experience should be compensated for it. I hear a lot of people clamoring about professors (and other state employees) making big money, and most of the time the facts simply don't bear that out. And just in case someone wants to step in and say that $55,000 is a lot of money, I realize it's a good salary but given the extensive education and training required of university professors, it's a very fair one. Now, $102,000 may not be so fair, but if you'll recall that's exactly the point I was making...

Anonymous said...

Not Really:

The points are that ASU and other NC universities teaching and administrative personnel have had continuous good pay raises for several years. ASU's total state funding for '03--'04 thru '08--'09 was from $88+M to 123+M. And the increases continued.

While at the same time, western NC colleges and universities were being chastised and ordered to increase their maintenance and blue collar employees pay above the poverty level. Again, another example that the education bureaucracy, overall, is top-heavy in its administrative and teaching areas.

Still, $45K to $55K, (At what level, entry or not?) is very good pay, period. And assistant profs are the lowest ranking profs, are they not?

So, one of the points is that ASU and WCSS administrative and teaching personnel demand high salaries and benefit packages, which exemplifies the vast difference in being well-paid and barely existing at the poverty level.

There is and has been a huge emphasis on the education bureaucracy and the tourism and second-home economic engines for many years. There is little, if anything, left to offer for Watauga citizens and their young people.

And ASU has had an arrangement with the Chambers of Commerce, those organizations for economic management and control, to hire college students over local people.

Again, the gap widens. But now that the economy and fiscal situations are very shaky, the education bureaucracy on all levels still demands more funding--the struggling taxpayers, primarily of rural communities, who do not benefit from these public bureaucracries, be damned.

Not Really said...

Anonymous,

I think we agree on a fair number of points, certainly that the administrative tier of education is top-heavy and could stand cutting. Where I have to disagree is when it comes to the area of teaching - I can only hope that education is "top-heavy" with teachers because teaching and learning should be its focus! Sadly, the increased spending in education in the past years has gone just about everywhere but teaching.

I'd also love to live in a world where no one who was working hard lived at the poverty level. In fact, I seem to remember a certain Sociology professor making a suggestion about raising the minimum wage...

That last bit was said with a bit of a wink, but seriously, I think if we want to be fiscally responsible we need to find other ways to do that besides cutting teachers' jobs. That does our children and grandchildren a great disservice.

Anonymous said...

Not Really:

With due regard, it is apparent you think that the education bureaucracy should remain as a sacred cow.

And in regard to education for the children and grandchildren, I guess it has much to do with what we refer to as "education".

As to mandatory minimum wages, that usually works against the best interests of the working class and anyone, for that matter.