Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Salary increases for execs should shame Penn State

A July 16 CDT article (“Raises sought for top execs”) reports on the plan to increase the salaries of five top executives at Penn State. A salary of nearly $500,000 seems adequate, and is $720,000 not enough for the athletic director?

There is another “tier” of Penn State employees no one talks about. I would like to see a muckraking journalist report on the many lecturers and “fixed-term instructors” hired by academic departments to teach in the classroom and online. They receive low wages for piecemeal work. They have no benefits or job security.

Many of these teachers have completed advanced degrees. After years of education, they struggle to make a living, and many are trying to repay student loans.

Who represents these workers? Does the administration or board of trustees have plans to help them? What about the department heads who use these burdened teachers to do much of their undergraduate teaching while top-level faculty buy-out-of-classroom obligations to do “high profile” (read money-making) research? Why hasn’t the Faculty Senate exposed the salary gap between these teachers, upper-level faculty and the bloated administration?

Has the business model won? I thought the mission of Penn State was to educate, not to exploit the educated.

Undergraduate and graduate students struggle to get an education while top administrators reward each other for jobs well done.

When will students, instructors and fixed-term workers say, “Enough!”

Shame on Penn State.

Roberta Kurland

Pennsylvania Furnace