Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lining Up at the Trough (Corrected)

The following post is based on inflammatory information that was presented to me out of context. I have a clarification of the data presented below here.

I am leaving the original post in place to show that I am not willing to partake in revisionist history, but the conclusions I arrived at I now believe to be false.

__________________Original Post___________________

In the George Orwell book Animal Farm, all the animals are equal, that is unless you are a pig. At NHMCCD, all the staff are equal, just some are more equal than others. And as in Animal Farm, those that are more equal are the pigs.

Farmer Jones must have yelled SOOWEEE because the pigs are lining up at the trough expecting to be fed.

Remember that 1/4 billion dollar bond election that failed? Apparently the board hasn't snapped to that fact quite yet because they just voted to give everyone at the college a raise. Now, mind you, most of the staff are only getting about 5%. As raises go, that isn't bad, but it certainly isn't going to break any banks.

But when it comes to the Administrators, things are, as usual, a little different.

The topmost administrators, and this by the way would appear to include Dr. Carpenter, who just started there at an already higher than expected rate due to his recent raise at his old institution, are getting a 29% raise. Lower level administrators are getting 16%, VP's are getting 6%. The claim is that these are needed to keep the staff "competitive", but lets not forget that administrators are overhead and do nothing at all to the bottom line of turning out educated students. The instructors are where the rubber meets the road. If any part of the staff needs to stay "competitive" it is the faculty, not the admins. ANY competent manager could serve an admin position. In fact, given most of the administrators we have right now, any INCOMPETENT manager could serve just as well.

As if that were not bad enough, it gets worse. This was apparently done in relative secrecy. In the faculty newsletter only the 5% raise was mentioned. Allan Hall, the Administration toady and figurehead El Presidente for life of the local AFT union knew all about it, but failed to tell anyone. The raises will be published in the budget books when they come out, but of course, they are not out yet, and there was reportedly little specific information in the minutes of the meeting at which it was approved, and no mention at all of raises listed in the posted agenda. It would appear that the specifics of the raises were likely discussed in a closed door workshop meeting that nobody was allowed to attend and when it came to the public meeting, the raises were discussed in only the most general of terms. The board agenda and minutes are official public records and they show no mention of differing raise amounts. The latest HR newsletter circulated by the district mentions only the 5% across the board raise.

The board also approved over $14 million in "emergency" expenditures that are currently out for bid, and guess who is in the middle of the bidding? Our good friends at Gilbane of course. I'm sure most of the companies that got RFQ's know the score. They are being asked for bids just so the district can say they requested bids from multiple vendors. They know they have no chance at winning those bids so they either don't bother to respond at all, or they pick a number out of their arse. Why spend time and energy producing a decent bid proposal when the odds of actually getting the bid are so small?

I had sincerely hoped that Dr. Carpenter would show some spine and clean up the fiscal mess that Pickelman had left, God knows there is plenty mess to clean up, but instead it would appear that "Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss" is the theme of the administration.

UPDATE:
The consumer price index has risen 92.32% since 1986, but the cost of a 4 year degree has risen 343.81% during the same period.

With the administration writing checks that the tax base can't afford, is it any wonder why the cost of education has risen so steeply?

UPDATE II:
Here are some hard numbers directly from the budget book for everyone to chew on.

SALARIES

Acct. # Acct. Name 06/07 07/08 Change

10-00-6-400003-6310 Exec, VC Adminis. 174902 198424 13.45%

10-00-6-400005-6310 Exec. VC Info.Tech. 172604 354378 105.31%

10-00-5-341003-6310 Wkfc. Prog. Adminis. 152282 204588 34.35%

10-00-6-400221-6310 Purchasing Adminis 201700 304606 51.02%

10-00-6-400002-6310 Chancellor 368317?? 483472!! 31.27%

10-00-6-400002-6552 Chancellor deferred comp. 40,500 ?? 40,500 !! -0-%

11-00-6-400006-6310 Gen Counsel 260814 290291 17.42%

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here we go again... seems like it"s never ending.

WHY?

September 19, 2007 6:21 AM  
Blogger Jean said...

And why don't the employees who are getting shafted raise a damn stink over the equities? It's so obvious they're afraid of losing their jobs, or they're just a bunch of mushrooms who don't give a crap about the real issues at this institution!

No wonder those of us in the private sector are fed up with the creeps running the college district. We need to get some new people in trustee positions who will have some backbone and clean up this district.

And don't even get me started on the campus security thugs. That's a whole 'nother bag of worms. (And believe you me, they're damn wormy!)

September 19, 2007 8:54 AM  
Blogger Thunder said...

This comment from someone on the inside sums things up quite well:

"This reeks of a cover-up and it erodes my faith in our district and its administrative operations and in our board...I can only imagine what the public will think as this develops, all the while we are planning to ask for a bond referendum of $250,000,000.00.... ???"

Is there any basis to this? What are the true facts....was there a giant leap in administration pay rates?

There are certainly needs, but raising the "expenses" within is not the plan here, I see the need for a well run institution and not a "national showboat." Best described as a running car or bus and not a "tricked out Limo."

September 19, 2007 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.inflationdata.com/inflation/Articles/Education_Inflation.asp

It would seem that the mission of the Junior Colleges in Texas was to provide a bridge to those that could least afford, those that could not afford, and provide an education for life, employment and the pursuit of the American Dream.

This "Dream Education" is becoming exactly a "dream" as the rising costs are elevating access further and further away for those that it was designed to serve.

The "tricked out Limo" described is exactly what we don't need here or in Texas for that matter. What we need is bread and butter education.

September 19, 2007 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Randy said...

Like the Clinton pardons, it appears that the "Pickleman Payoffs" read something like this:

Close friend and TC Pres gets a 16% raise, yet has one of the poorer performing campuses.

IT VC gets a 105.31% increase
Purchasing gets a 51.02% increase
Wkfc. Prog. Adminis 34.35% increase

And topping this off the General Counsel (from TSU) gets a 17.42% increase from $260,814.00 to $290,291.00

Dr. Slade take note: A TSU graduate is doing well.....

September 19, 2007 4:17 PM  
Blogger Jean said...

Huh??????? How does the district justify that kind of salary for their gen. counsel when half of their stuff is farmed out to Giuliani's firm? That outrageous! and 105% raise????? Un freaking real!!!!

September 20, 2007 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are they feeling the heat?

http://dstc.nhmccd.edu/122015/

Trustees Decrease 2007-2008 Tax Rate by 2%


What oh what does it mean?

Muahahahaha! Joke.

September 21, 2007 2:09 PM  

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