[Vision2020] Response to DNews article on faculty salaries

nickgier at adelphia.net nickgier at adelphia.net
Fri Apr 18 09:09:39 PDT 2008

To the Editor:

On April 11 the UI Argonaut published an excellent in-depth article entitled "Faculty Smarting from Benefits, Yardley." On April 15 the Daily News ran a short article by Hadley Rush featuring geology professor Mickey Gunter who thinks that everything at the UI is hunky dory.  

The Argonaut had done a survey and found that faculty rated their morale as 5.16 on a scale of 10, and only 34 percent were "confident in the leadership of the university."  The student newspaper was on the ball, but the Daily Snooze dropped it.

On March 19 we had a long meeting with Rush sharing the same information that we did with the Argonaut.  When asked about why she did not at least acknowledge our salary survey, Hadley said that our data was not current (not so) and that she had to rely on other sources.  Her April 15 story, focusing on Pollyanna Gunter and on non-peer institutions BSU and ISU, was the result.

Two years ago Rep. Shirley Ringo asked the faculty union to generate a list of UI faculty who had left for greener pastures.  The total is still incomplete, but so far 45 faculty in 15 disciplines have moved on over 11 years.  See www.home.roadrunner.com/~nickgier/greener.htm.

These fine folks would be offended by Gunter's charge that they "blackmailed" the UI with any counter-offers they may have presented.  We are confident that many of them wanted to stay on the Palouse.

Hadley promised to get a response from the UI administration about why they announced 67 new positions for FY08, when in fact there were only 15 net positions. She chose not to, and when we pointed out the 260 percent increase in administrative salaries over 26 years vs. 187 percent for full professors (CPI at 210), we thought we finally had the city editor's attention, but our story fell to the newsroom floor.

For the AFT salary survey for 2007-08, please go to www.home.roadrunner.com/~nickgier/Survey08.htm

Bob Dickow, President, UI Federation of Teachers
Nick Gier, President, IFT Higher Education Council

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