The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on a letter that University of Michigan faculty sent to UM regents on April 20, questioning the high salaries of university administrators. From the letter: “The University is in desperate and urgent need of fiscal reform. Arresting the steep increases in salaries to top administrators, reforming the secretive bonus culture of the Fleming administration building, terminating the toxic AST project, and refocusing the attention of the University on its core mission of teaching, research, and service should save the University many tens of millions of dollars per year. We urge you to work with incoming President-Elect Schlissel to introduce and implement these necessary reforms as soon as practically possible.” The 40-page document includes a …
An online “open letter” from University of Michigan faculty to president Mary Sue Coleman and provost Martha Pollack asks that the proposed Administrative Services Transformation (AST) project – which aims to reduce costs by centralizing services – be terminated. As of early afternoon on Saturday, Nov. 23, the letter had received over 600 signatures. From the letter: “AST is a top-down program that eliminates the ability to retain corporate knowledge and leverage the unit-culture experiences of some 300 support staff while limiting their contributions to a series of transactional tasks in a call center.” [Source]
The Washtenaw Voice reports on reactions to the firing of Stuart Blacklaw, former vice president of instruction at Washtenaw Community College who was dismissed by WCC president Rose Bellanca. The article states that “members of the Washtenaw Community College Education Association were angered by what they called a ‘cowardly move.’” [Source] A separate article reports on concerns raised by the faculty union at a recent WCC board of trustees meeting over “communication breakdowns” with Bellanca. [Source]
David Behen, one of Washtenaw County’s two deputy county administrators, has resigned and will leave his job at the end of May. Washtenaw County commissioners and department heads were informed of the decision in an email sent Thursday morning from county administrator Bob Guenzel. In that email, Guenzel stated that he does not plan to fill the position after Behen’s departure.
The county is struggling to balance its budget in the wake of declining revenues and a projected $26 million deficit over the next two years. Behen’s salary is $144,000 – the total compensation for that position, including benefits, is roughly $200,000.
Behen told The Chronicle that it was his decision to leave and that he has other opportunities. “Maybe by me leaving, I save someone else’s job,” he said. He said he’s been contemplating the decision for a while.