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Grad Students at UNC Demand Redistribution of Administrator Salaries

Grad Students at UNC Demand Redistribution of Administrator Salaries

“We are tired of seeing the people at the top get more and more, while we are forced to make do on what effectively becomes less and less”

This is where higher education has been heading for over a decade now. Is anyone surprised?

Campus Reform reports:

UNC grad students call for administrators’ salaries to be ‘redistributed’

The University of North Carolina’s “Anti-Racist Graduate Worker Collective” is calling for the redistribution of administrators’ salaries for “worker relief.”

According to the Daily Tar Heel, a memo from the UNC System’s former interim president Bill Roper stated that chancellors in the System can issue salary reductions for certain employees, including faculty and senior administrators in an attempt to help mitigate COVID-19 losses. The Anti-Racist Graduate Worker Collective is asking that this authority be exercised to fund programs and departments low on resources.

According to a statement from Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Compliance Becca Menghini to the Daily Tar Heel, the school has a desire to manage funding in order to “prioritize people, reduce operational expenses, and put focus on the teaching, research and service components of our mission.”

“Should we determine that personnel actions are needed, we will most certainly work to distribute the effort such that those with higher earnings assume a larger share of the burden,” Menghini said.

Since April, the group of UNC graduate students has expressed concerns over the pay disparities on campus.

The list of “demands” to the university noted that the “current minimum graduate worker service stipend of $15,700 per academic year does not allow students to save cash reserves for emergencies, and many graduate workers have lost second and third jobs they rely on to make ends meet.”

The group demanded that the “University administration accept a pay cut of 10%, and that the funds freed up by this cut be redistributed directly to worker relief,” including graduate students.

“We are tired of seeing the people at the top get more and more, while we are forced to make do on what effectively becomes less and less as cost of living increases,” the group said.


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Don’t most graduate assistants and TAs also get tuition reimbursement? Back in the day when I was an assistant (not a TA), I got full tuition reimbursement with no stipend and I was darn glad to have it. I lived at home and commuted. Had some credit card debt, but no student loans.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to p1cunnin. | September 29, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    Not all.

    In fact I’ve never heard of that perk.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to p1cunnin. | September 29, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    Maybe it depends on the discipline, donors, etc….?

      It depends on the wealth of the school and state programs, etc. Yes, it is a regular staple of grad programs these days that aren’t for lousy, worthless degrees and no value to society. STEM is pretty much a given to have tuition paid and the stipend is paid based on either per classes taught or research commitments.

The Friendly Grizzly | September 29, 2020 at 10:36 am

“The door is that way. Use it.”, Dean T F Grizzly said earlier today.

In other news…

“The Anti-Racist Graduate Worker Collective”

Sounds very progressive. All sorts of wokeness. And what’s their big demand? Money!

I guess they went to the Bernie Sanders school of socialism.

Graduate students (in the sciences, not necessarily in the humanities) normally get:
1. Tuition waiver (sometimes taxable)
2. Maybe a fee waiver
3. A pittance to live on (always taxable)

They basically get their graduate education free, usually in return for teaching 6-9 hours of undergrad labs per week or running sections or tutorials of a lecture class. Their low income usually requires sharing an apartment and eating cheap and either not having a car or having a cheap car. So I don’t have much sympathy for them.

But it this case, the arrogant, Socialist (as in “Collective”) graduate students actually have a valid point. College administrators have proliferated like rabbits, and their salaries are disproportionate to their backgrounds and duties. Over the past 20 years, the administrator/faculty ratio has more than doubled at many schools, and the administrative salaries have outpaced inflation by leaps and bounds.

The school could probably fire 30% of their administrators, beginning with the “diversity and inclusion” office, and be better off with less red tape. The remaining administrators could take a 20% pay cut and still be ahead of the faculty. I’d like to see administrative salaries capped at a given multiple of the entry salaries for Non-Tenure-Track faculty.

Years ago I got tuition, a stipend, plus a paid internship. The internship was tax free according to the rules at that time because it was required for the degree. In those days the faculty had power, especially in departments with research funding.

I wonder if these graduate students would agree to having their grades re-distributed?

If they were smarter, being an administrator would be something to shoot for. Maybe they’re in the wrong career track & are just now realizing it.

Jealousy is for losers.