NEWS BLOG (WSAU) The salaries of public employees are public records. You can find out if you look. After all, they’re paid with your tax dollars.
Gannett Media (your local newspaper) is compiling a statewide data base of the costs of those salaries and their benefits. They’ve already posted the salaries of people who work in the state’s technical college system and the UW. It’s valuable information.
Those costs are only part of the story. A more basic question is “are these jobs necessary”. In the last decade college faculty employment has held steady. Student enrollment in traditional four-year colleges is also steady. But non-teaching administrators have seen their ranks nearly double. Why? For what?
An example, UW has a Provost for Diversity, Equality, and Educational Achievement. And this is not just an individual – it’s a position that oversees entire departments: the Center for Educational Opportunity, the Office for Equality and Diversity, and the Office for Multicultural Initiatives. The goal is to recruit more minority and female students, help retain minorities and get them to graduate, and to recruit a more diverse faculty. Let’s examine the goals: the minority population at UW-Madison is 12.5% -- statewide, blacks and Hispanics make up 12.6% of Wisconsinites. Women already outnumber men at UW-Madison 52 to 48%.
I don’t write today to criticize the goal; I write about the costs. Even if a more ethnically-diverse campus was a paramount UW objective, what kind of staffing is required to achieve it? A handful of people. Not multiple departments.
How many other parts of our university system have similar bloated payrolls? Can we, the taxpayers, afford it?