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Bloomington Herald-Times

June 5, 2013

IU officials should take a salary cut

By Clarence Leatherbury

June 5, 2013, last update: 6/5 @ 6:18 am

This guest column was submitted by Clarence Leatherbury of Salem, an IU-Indianapolis law student and Kelley School of Business graduate.

As an Indiana citizen today, I watch my fellow native Hoosiers entwined in the economic clutches of bureaucratic officials who go home every night with another bag of money drained from the wallets of our own communities. There are too many governments and organizations that have been destroyed because their so-called leaders have tried to benefit personally.

President of Indiana University Michael McRobbie stated in his 2012 university address: "I want to make it clear that we have heard and share the public's concerns over college affordability."

If McRobbie is truly concerned about college affordability, why has he continually accepted extravagant pay increases? According to the IU salary database, during the 2007-2008 school year, McRobbie made $400,000. For the 2008-2009 year, McRobbie made $425,000. And now, during the 2012-2013 school year, IU President McRobbie is making a tax- and tuition-based $544,848 a year salary. Comparatively, the president of the United States makes $400,000.

But it's not just the university president that's being granted lavish tuition- and tax-funded pay increases. Professors throughout the IU system are systematically receiving thousands of dollars in salary raises every year.

In the IU salary database, I selected an accounting professor from the Kelley School of Business and analyzed his salary. In 2003-2004, the professor made $118,000. By the 2007-2008 school year, he made $142,000. And now during the 2012-2013 school year, he is making $177,000. These officials should feel guilty about the university's system of exploiting students for their own financial gain.

A lot of bureaucrats will make the argument that these fat salaries are justified because we need "the best and brightest minds to come to our state and lead us." I don't agree with this philosophy. I know well qualified lawyers and businessmen from my own community who would gladly take on the IU president's position for a respectable salary of $100,000 a year.

According to CollegeCalc.Org, in the year 2000, the undergraduate in-state tuition rate for IU Bloomington was $4,212. By 2010, the tuition had doubled to $8,613. Presently, the average loan debt for an IUB graduate is $27,752.

Author and renowned financial advisor Peter Schiff has explained that universities have been able to raise tuition substantially because of federally backed student loans, which place more of the repayment burden on the taxpayer.

In an article on SchiffRadio.Com, Schiff stated, "As a result, colleges and universities are freed from competitive forces that would otherwise keep tuition low."

A state-funded school should be cutting and freezing salaries during economic hard times. During the recession, Gov. Mitch Daniels ordered $150 million worth of cuts from the state's higher education fund, but as these cuts take hold, many public IU officials continue to receive excessive pay increases, all while individuals working in the private sector across the state of Indiana have to endure pay cuts, increased tuition, lost employment, and in some cases lost homes, while always continuing to pay high taxes.