Students, profs petition for administrative salary cuts

Dozens of professors are urging Washington State University to trim the high salaries paid out to the school’s administrators instead of cutting budgets for academic programs.

The proposal comes in a form of a petition signed by over 750 people, including faculty and students, who believe the cuts will help WSU balance its budget and eliminate the school's $30 million annual deficit.

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“We understand that Washington State University must find an additional $10,000,000.00/year for the next three years,” the petition states, citing the school’s plan to implement a 2.5 percent cut “to every academic department,” eliminate “two positions with Multicultural Student Services,” defund WSU's Performance Arts Program, and more.

“We propose instead a reduction in pay by at least 30% for all administrators making $300,000.00 and above,” the petition states, advocating for an additional reduction of “at least 20% for administrators making $200,000.00 to $299,999.99” and “at least 10% for administrators making $100,000.00 to $199,999.99.”

The authors of the document assert that 36 university employees, including 21 administrators, currently earn more than $300,000 year, and that “an estimated $2,360,430.00 could be saved by cutting 30% from the salaries of the 21 WSU administrators earning more than $300,000.”

Additionally, the petition contends that another $2,356,040 could be saved by cutting 20 percent from the salaries of the 49 administrators who earn between $200,000 and $300,000 per year.

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“An estimated total of $4,716,470.00 could be saved just by cutting the salaries of the 70 administrators making over $200,000.00,” the petition states. “We are hopeful that applying this cutting strategy across the board to all administrators in the system, along with a freeze on raises to these same personnel over the next 3 years, will generate well over half the amount needed to balance the budget.”

The proposal will eventually be presented to WSU President Kirk Schulz, who presented the original plan to reduce all department budgets by 2.5 percent, according to The Columbian.

Beyond administrative salary cuts, the petition also urges administrators to “publicly identify and cut other administrative overhead such as their own travel budgets, entertainment funds, start up allowances, and housing and relocation subsidies to balance the WSU budget.”

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“These cuts impact both instruction and essential support services for students. The cuts also risk forcing longtime university employees onto state and federal taxpayer-subsidized programs such as food stamps and Medicaid,” the petition concludes. “We believe that all university employees—from faculty to facilities workers—are entitled to a living wage. The cuts we propose to the top of the university administrative structure, still ensure that all administrators retain a healthy salary, and everyone at WSU keeps their position.”

Washington State University did not return Campus Reform’s request for comment.

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