Professor A.R.P Rau published a letter to the editor of the Advocate this morning. I am printing the letter in its entirety.
LSU recently hired a football coach for an obscene $100 million. Athletic directors, other coaches, and umpteen assistant coaches have million-dollar salaries. And now the revenue secretary who is stepping down from state government is being hired as “chief administrative officer” at LSU for $370,000 in place of her previous $250,000.
LSU’s chancellor-president was recently hired for $750,000 plus substantial house and car allowances. There is a provost, and multiple vice chancellors and vice provosts, all making equally impressive six figures.
Why then is a new administrative officer needed, created by fiat by administrators and the LSU Board of Supervisors? This is taxpayer money.
The rot started with then-chancellor Mark Emmert. By bringing Nick Saban as a multi-million-dollar coach, he parlayed that to doubling his own salary, out of all proportion to salaries of faculty or staff. He went to his own further millions at the NCAA but left behind administrators down the line, all making huge salaries, more than double that of professors with decades of teaching, research and scholarship.
This has been noted elsewhere as “rapacious contemporary capitalism” at institutions that were created by societies for different purposes. It is an abuse of the tax-exempt status granted them on the grounds that knowledge generated and taught is a societal good.
LSU’s worth rests on its performance in education. Hiring contingent faculty at fractions of even the smallest numbers cited above, and grudging graduate teaching assistants who are paid even less minus health insurance and other fees they then must pay out of pocket, is shameful.
I leave as an exercise to our boards to calculate how many assistant professors, adjunct instructors, and graduate TAs would be supported by that $370,000 they conjured out of thin air for this new administrative hire.