Saturday, December 25, 2010

Higher Education Administration Lobbies to Make Cuts to Classrooms First

As Cabinet Secretary of Higher Education Viola E. Florez put it, “Clearly, New Mexico colleges and universities are willing to step up to the plate once again and do everything possible to assist with the immediate budget challenges we face this year. The only request made by the Cabinet secretary and the college and university presidents was to have the flexibility to make the cuts within their own institutional budgets if this occurred.” In other words don’t cut huge over priced administrative salaries but give them the freedom to cut from the lower paid workers that work directly with the students and the classrooms first.

The president of CNM has clearly stated that if cuts to salaries are made that she will make them to low income workers and that she does not care how that affects them directly. She like other college presidents will not allow cuts to top administration because that would affect their own salaries and standard of living. Never mind that people earning over two hundred thousand dollars a year can more easily afford salaries cuts.

The top administration of higher education in this state has made it clear that our children are the lowest on their list of priorities. Why protect the classrooms if it would mean that their pay would have to be decreased to something less than the top 5% in the nation. We all know that there are far too many vice presidents for our colleges and universities and that their salaries do not come close to matching the salaries of other business leaders in this state. The cost of living in this state makes college and universities presidents and their vice presidents very rich people who will harm anyone to protect their own standard of living even if that includes the state's future workforce.

Any smart business executive understands that if you cut too deeply into the frontline workforce then you destroy the company’s ability to product future profits. Top educational administration in this state have taken on the views of Wall Street executives where their own profit is put before the well being of the educational system for which they work in this state. How far is the voting public willing to allow this to go before demands are made to stop the harm done to the educational system and the children of this state who are its future workforce?

Front line workers are already facing paying in another .5% of their low income to their retirement fund which will only harm the state’s economy since that money would be spent by the workers earning above $20,000 but below $25,000 for daily needs. Yet nothing was done to protect those lower middle class workers from further harm in this round of budget cuts to colleges and universities.

Note to readers: This issue has nothing to do with the court system so since it is such an important issue that will be decided within the next few weeks it should be comment on before the New Year.