For a third consecutive year students attending Florida’s 11 universities are facing a 15 percent increase in tuition rates while many of their professors get rich.
After Florida legislators approved an 8 percent tuition increase to help balance a state budget that was billions of dollars in the red, the 14-member Board of Governors of the state’s 11 universities tacked on an additional 7 percent increase for good measure.
Considering the current anti-corporate, class warfare campaigns being waged by unions and anti-corporate Occupiers in (just name a city) led by President Barack Obama and his perpetual class warfare presidential campaign, we need to balance the debate by taking a peek at the surprisingly generous compensations taxpayers are shelling out to Florida’s professors and top administrators.
Still, Florida’s teaching salaries are low compared to some states where the cost of education is extremely unaffordable to average citizens.
In future columns, we can occasionally explore the earnings of other public servants eking out meager existences in this cruel era of budget cuts under Florida’s new no tenure legislation, but let’s start with the pay of university professors. It’s only fair since students and their parents will be paying 15 percent more for the time these professors actually spend in classrooms as opposed to writing and publishing journals for personal gain.
Some in favor of charging higher tuitions say Florida needs to keep pace with pay offered to professors by other state university systems. Meanwhile, Florida unemployment is stuck in double digits while national unemployment is 9.1 percent. Many Floridians who still have jobs are facing pay cuts and promotions are fewer and further between.
Florida universities need to do more than increase tuitions to balance their budgets. Florida universities need to cut the pay of highly compensated professors, administrators and college presidents thereby allowing these elite icons of academia to share in the pain students and their parents (who so often foot the tuition bill) have experienced for years. It’s only fair.
University professors are said to be quite liberal as a group. Whether we call it a 15 percent pay cut or 15 percent tax on rich professors, I’m sure these incredibly well-paid public servants would be most happy give back to less fortunate students who can’t afford another 15 percent tuition increase.
I know some of you are thinking these professors can’t afford to give back, after all, they work for the state and the state is basically broke. But university employees are allowed to double dip by receiving money from private sources as well.
So how much do elite educators make? How about Professor Neil Fenske over at the University of South Florida who bags $1,213,362 per year for teaching Medicine? The 15 percent increase means the average USF student will pay an additional $4,886 per year while Fenske receives over $1.2 million pay from the state. Sound fair?
Professor William Friedman who teaches at University of Florida (UF) brings in a whopping $808,437. That probably gets him through this extended economic rough patch in style.
Here are a few more public servants in universities managing to tough it out despite this long economic downturn that has required three consecutive 15 percent increases in Florida university tuition rates.
Prof. Kevin Behrns (UF) $636,132; Prof. David Smith (USF) $657,326; Prof. Michael Nussbaum (UF) $612,000; Associate Prof Mark Bleiweis (UF) $574,951; Associate Prof. Raymond Jacob (UF) $568,140; Associate Prof. Barry McCook (UF) $555,000; Prof. Michael Good (UF) $542,880; Associate Prof. Basil Cherpelis (USF) $538,633; Prof. KaKarla Chalam (UF) $532,071; Prof. Nancy Mendenhall (UF)$523,701; Prof. John Rock (FIU)522,750; Assistant Prof. Ian Hedger (UF) $520,000; Prof. Lewis Glass (USF) $517,476; Prof Anthony Mancuso (UF) $514,000; Prof. Robert Hromas (UF) 510,000; Assistant Prof. Philipp Aldana (UF) $507,790; Prof. Martin Tomas (UF) $504,883; Prof. Theodore Bass (UF) $504,768; Associate Prof. David Pincus (UF) $500,832; Head Football Coach Louis Holtz (USF) $500,000; Eminent Scholar Maidique Modesto (FIU) $498,166; Professor James Patrick O’Leary (FIU) $496,612; Prof. Harry Van Loveren (USF) $493,737; Prof. Mark Scarborough (UF) $490,000, and Associate Prof. James Caridi (UF) $489,250. The list goes on and on so we’ll link the article that lists all Florida university professors’ salaries and also provide a link to the state website where one can verify state workers’ income by name search.
Many of Florida’s highly compensated educators and state workers could easily shave 15 percent from their taxpayer-funded lifestyles by canceling a couple of European vacations or by selling their custom mansions in gated communes and moving into 4,000 square-foot cookie-cutter homes. A 15-percent pay cut would hardly dent the lifestyles of Florida’s richest academic civil servants, but it would provide an education for hundreds of low-income students.