The Chancellor?s Suggestion Box, Part Two

Posted: Oct 03, 2004 12:00 AM

Dear Chancellor:

Recently, some students complained to me that the computer labs had run out of paper on just the second day of the semester here at UNC-Wilmington. I immediately suspected that the reports were accurate. After all, many of the labs ran out of toner and paper last April. They even shut down for large portions of the day after the school ran out of money to pay the employees who operate the labs.

I wanted to make certain that the handful of students who complained were not giving me false information, so I surveyed my classes this semester to determine whether the problem was widespread. This was achieved by simply asking the following question: ?Have any of you gone to a university computer lab this semester and been unable to complete a homework assignment because the labs were either out of paper, out of toner, or shut down altogether??

In all three of my classes, numerous hands shot up immediately. Many students also offered strong verbal complaints about the failure of the university to meet basic educational obligations.

At first, I considered the possibility that the shortage of paper and toner may have been the result of a few selfish students printing out personal emails and otherwise hogging the resources of the collective. But, of course, that doesn?t explain the shutdown of various computer labs over the course of the last year.

Furthermore, such a view would be incompatible with the socialist mindset that pervades this university. Various programs sponsored by the Office of Campus Diversity have taught me that individuals will act in the best interest of the collective, as long as the government sufficiently taxes them and properly oversees the redistribution of public funds.

So, that really leaves me with only one conclusion: A few individuals in the administration are mismanaging student technology fees. In other words, those who control the means of production are oppressing the masses in the student population.

After an extensive discussion of this apparent mismanagement of student fees, one of my classes strongly urged me to take this issue into the court of public opinion on their behalf. That is why I am writing you today with the following suggestion:

In light of the university?s decision to charge the 10,500 students at UNC-Wilmington a technology fee of $187.25 this semester without actually providing them with the services they paid for, I am asking the school to refund $1,966,125 to the students of UNC-Wilmington by the end of this semester.

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).