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       Tuesday, April 25, 2006

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Dumbing Down America

[It is pretty obvious that in a time when the U.S. is locked in combat in an increasingly competitive global economy, dumbing down our next generation sabotages the national interest at its heart. Ed Kent]

Education on the Ropes

Governor George Pataki’s recent budget vetoes include hundreds of millions of dollars that would have been appropriated to a variety of statewide education initiatives.

The list of education-related budget vetoes is highlighted by a $119 million cut in the state’s Tuition Assistance Program, or TAP. In addition to funding cuts, the governor’s plan would raise credit-load requirements for receiving assistance, thus putting the financial aid and career of many college students in jeopardy. The vetoes also slash over $400 million from City University of New York – a significant amount of which was directed towards hiring of full time faculty and disability services and equipment – and over $500 million from State Univerity of New York. Intended cuts were slated to establish computer training center programs, create teacher mentor intern programs, expand enrollment, alter and improve various facilities associated with state and city Universities, and fund the Liberty Partnerships Program.

Pataki’s repeated jabs at the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit and its mandates to better fund New York City schools should have served to telegraph his latest haymaker to education.

The following details Pataki’s vetoes in education:
Veto # Agency Purpose Approp Amount
82 CUNY Contract courses and workforce development 1,000,000
83 CUNY Additional operating assistance 49,470,000
84 CUNY Financial assistance to community colleges 99,680,000
85 CUNY Alterations and improvements 264,049,000
86 SED Grants in aid to certain school districts, 81,456,250
public libraries and not-for-profit institutions
87 SED NYS historical association 180,000
88 SED College of St. Rose lab renovations 500,000
89 SED Liberty Partnerships program 1,092,500
109 SUNY Expansion of high need programs 2,000,000
110 SUNY SUNY operating assistance 56,667,000
111 SUNY Contract courses and workforce development 1,000,000
112 SUNY Expansion of high need programs 1,800,000
113 SUNY Alterations and improvements to various facilities 415,826,000
114 SUNY Alterations and improvements to community college facilities 22,561,000
115 Misc. School Tax Star Rebate program 805,000,000
116 CUNY Additional operating assistance 20,260,000
117 CUNY Services and equipment for students with 250,000
136 DOH School based health centers 3,393,000
By Nate Powell | April 24, 2006, 7:00 am
Posted in Uncategorized | trackback | No Comments »


[And this is not just a NY problem -- it runs nation-wide. Ed Kent]

AAUP Press Release: "The Devaluing of Higher Education"

"The Devaluing of Higher Education"

AAUP to Release Annual Report on Faculty Salaries

Washington, D.C. - For the second consecutive year, the increase in
overall average salaries for college and university professors failed to
keep up with the rate of inflation. That is one of the central findings
of "The Devaluing of Higher Education: The Annual Report on the Economic
Status of the Profession, 2005-06."

The AAUP's annual report has been an authoritative source of data on
faculty salaries and compensation for decades. This year's findings call
into question assertions contained in an issue paper on college costs
prepared recently for the U.S. Secretary of Education's Commission on
the Future of Higher Education. The paper, by commission consultant
Robert C. Dickeson, claims that "faculty salaries are especially
expensive," and that "the time-honored practice of tenure is costly."
AAUP data, however, indicate that overall average faculty salaries
remain depressed as a result of a long-term pattern of insufficient
investment in faculty. (See more information on the commission.)

This year's report compares faculty salaries to other higher education
indicators, including presidential salaries and institutional returns on
endowment investment. The concluding section explores an issue of
continuing concern to those committed to maintaining the quality of U.S.
higher education: the low pay rates of part-time faculty, who now make
up nearly half of all college and university teachers. Highlights of
this year's report include the following:

* Overall average salaries for all ranks of full-time faculty
across all types of institutions rose 3.1 percent between 2004-05 and
2005-06. When adjusted for inflation, however, average salaries declined
by 0.3 percent, following a 0.5 percent decrease in 2004-05. The last
time inflation-adjusted salaries declined for two consecutive years was
from 1978-79 to 1980-81.

* Full-time faculty who continued from the previous year at the
same institution did not fare much better. Their 1.1 percent
inflation-adjusted salary increase is the lowest since 1996-97.

* The salary gap between full-time faculty at public colleges and
universities and their counterparts at private (non-church-related)
institutions continued to widen in 2005-06. This disparity seriously
disadvantages public institutions in trying to attract and retain the
most qualified faculty.

* Over time, a significant lag in compensation has developed
between faculty and those with graduate degrees in other professions.
Although most faculty members do not choose a career in academe for the
paycheck, this increasing disparity makes it more difficult to recruit
the best students into academic careers.

* Although both public and private institutions are recovering
from the economic difficulties of the past few years, college and
university presidents are reaping significantly greater rewards from the
recovery than faculty. Between 1995 and 2005, median salaries for
presidents rose 29 percent, while salaries for full-time faculty
increased only 9 percent.

* The increasing costs of benefits, particularly medical
insurance, represent a continuing strain on college and university

* The number of faculty employed only part time continues to
increase. This year's report gives an indication of how low the pay for
part-time faculty really is.

The report and major tables are
posted on AAUP's web site. Listings for individual institutions are
available only in the written report. To order the full report, visit
the AAUP's online catalogue.
The cost is $68.00. AAUP members receive a copy as part of their Academe

The American Association of University Professors is a nonprofit
charitable and educational organization that promotes academic freedom
by supporting tenure, academic due process, and standards of quality in
higher education. The AAUP has about 45,000 members at colleges and
universities throughout the United States .
"A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope." (Livy cited by Machiavelli)
Ed Kent 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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posted by Ed Kent at 6:14 AM  


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