I understand that this amount may seem excessive. But, fortunately, I have some suggestions about where the money can come from. These suggestion were developed by listening carefully to student complaints over the course of the semester (Author?s Note: At this time I would like to thank Hillary Rodham Clinton for giving me the idea of conducting a ?listening tour? before clearly staking out a proposed policy in response to this crisis).
First of all, approximately 1.2 million dollars (a whopping 60 percent of the refund) can be taken from the fund dedicated to the renovation of the chancellor?s mansion at the intersection of 17th and Market Street in Historic Downtown Wilmington. If that money has already been spent, we can simply replace it by charging you rent instead of allowing you to live in that multi-million dollar mansion for free.
Secondly, I would propose that 20 percent of the refund should come from money we are spending on various political speakers and programs at the university. Since the university paid Andrew Sullivan $10,000 to criticize Bush on the gay marriage issue, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. nearly $20,000 to criticize Bush on the environment, Molly Ivins nearly $20,000 to criticize Bush on everything, and George Mitchell $40,000 to criticize Bush on Iraq, we should be able to locate the full $400,000 in various ?beat Bush? political slush funds.
Finally, I would ask that the other $400,000 come out of your salary and the salary of other top administrators at the university. Before your 25% pay-raise this year, the chancellor?s position had already seen a pay-raise of over 100% in the previous decade. That really isn?t fair since the rest of the campus got a raise of only 2% after four years in a row with no pay-raises whatsoever. It is especially unfair in light of the fact that student tuition was just raised this semester.
In June of 2003, I was shocked to learn that our chancellor was living in a $2750 per month condo in Wilmington?s most exclusive neighborhood while the chancellor?s mansion was being remodeled. I was even more shocked when I read in the local paper that a university employee went to that $2750 per month condo to do some maintenance work in a university owned van. But I laughed out loud when I learned that he was caught placing a large magnet over the UNCW logo in an attempt to hide what he was doing.
The time for this kind of silly secrecy is over. We need to discuss accusations of financial mismanagement by our public servants in an open and public manner. After all, this is a democracy, not a fiefdom.
Mike S. Adams will be speaking at the University of Georgia on Wednesday October, 6th (at 7:30 pm), Georgia Tech on Thursday October 7th (at 11 am), and the University of Alabama on Thursday October 7th (at 7 pm). He will be doing a book signing at Mississippi State University on Saturday October 9th (at noon in the MSU campus bookstore).
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