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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Rutgers contradiction

As a Rutgers alum and a New Jersey resident upset about state spending, it's tough being a Scarlet Knights sports fan these days. You never want to see any Rutgers team lose. Last fall, the football team rarely disappointed in rolling to an 11-2 mark and a Texas Bowl victory. This week, the woman's basketball team - a young group of overachievers - is going to the Final Four. Rutgers is on the national sports map again.

But that court success comes at a price. As detailed in the Press' DataUniverse listing of Rutgers University employees' salaries ( taxpayers are paying the Lady Knights' coaches and staff very well: a total of $639,852. Head coach C. Vivian Stringer is proving yet again that she's among the best in her profession. She is paid handsomely for that distinction with a 2006 base salary of $207,335 that with extras came to $485,288. (New men's head basketball coach Fred Hill Jr. grossed quite a bit less at $358,000, but the salaries for his staff top $670,000 - and his team won only 10 of 29 games.)

Stringer's team's success has already brought her $115,403 in bonuses for winning the Big East Conference tournament, making the NCAA tournament and progressing to the Elite Eight and now the Final Four. Another $35,403 awaits if her team wins the national championship.

But all this largess comes just months after Rutgers laid off staffers, cut part-timers and canceled hundreds of course sections in response to state funding cutbacks. It's not too soon for university officials to explain to taxpayers how all this athletic success makes Rutgers a better university for its students and the state it serves.


Blogger margaret said...

Extracurricular things, including sports, should not take precedence over courses. When it does, it becomes less than a university and more of a sports training camp.

6:00 PM, March 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heartily agree. Big-time college sports are entertainment, not education. The chance of any of these young people landing a job as a professional athlete is vanishingly small. The graduation rate for Rutgers football and basketball players is unacceptably low. Better to field teams of scholars who lose every game (but receive a good education) than teams of quasi-professionals who win every game (but lose the great game of life).

8:45 AM, March 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you pay these outrageous salaries? Easy,raise taxes and tuitions and make sure Tony Soprano is seen at every football game.

2:44 PM, April 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Putting the cutbacks of courses at Rutgers and other schools on the backs of the sports programs is nonsensical. An empty classroom cost the same for heat, floor space and insurance as a full classroom. These classes could be filled with students by having a small group of Adjunct Teachers instruct these classes. If true, than why doesnt that happen? Unlike former Governor Florio getting paid 90K for the year and former Governor McGreevy getting paid 17K for one course, adjunct college instructors teach for the Love of the Occupation, not for the money. The true adjunct teacher in New Jersey survives by performing other jobs. You heard the salaries of the former governors but a true adjunct gets paid on average in New Jersey less than $700 a credit or if the adjunct teaches six - three credit courses the adjunct will make a total salary of $12,000 a year. A full time college professor at Rutgers makes around $100K a year for the same teaching workload- but of course they do other things.
The Adjunct Instructors bring a wide array of experience, knowledge and education with them to the job of teaching but are only compensated in a great sense of knowing they helped build the future of America. If an instructor at a Community College or a major University in New Jersey has more than 7 students in the class, the cost of heat, floor space and salary are covered but because of other teaching duties of full time teachers and the almost non-existent salaries of Adjunct instructors the classes go begging because no one is available to teach them. For every class empty the school loses money. If the schools would higher more full time teachers who were allowed to teach more courses and raise the salary of the part time or Adjunct work force more classes would be available and the empty space would be utilized. This salary problem and time consumption problem or both adjunct and full time professors is an area that is never discussed and never investigated by the media. The only way things will change is through knowledge and a lack of knowledge is all we have currently because the public perception is that salaries of college professors and adjunct college professors (( such as Gov. Florio and Gov. McGreevy )) are more than adequate. Many schools have lowered the amount of credits needed to graduate and this should be raised, more teachers both full time and part time need to be hired and the media should help the public understand where their tax dollars go in higher education.

8:21 AM, April 21, 2007  

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