7/12/2009: A commenter points us to this very on target Letter to the Register Guard Editor from a student. It will be quite fun to see what sort of book report Frohnmayer hands in to Pernsteiner, in return for $28,000 (plus expenses, of course.)
Frohnmayer should think for free
I appreciate Oregon University System Chancellor George Pernsteiner and other authorities’ concern about the low percentage of Oregonians holding a post-secondary educational credential (Register-Guard, July 7 and 8); however, as an American, an Oregonian and a Ph.D. student with two children who has experienced constant cuts of welfare support in my struggles to finish my program and feed my kids with no job (I have looked for employment for one year), I think former University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer’s stipend for his brainstorm to fix Oregonians’ lack of post-secondary education is inappropriate in these times of economic downturn in which the state should evaluate carefully how it is using its scarce sources.
Frohnmayer already has a permanent office where he could write down his suggestions and then mail them to the authorities or publish a white paper opening an academic debate about this important educational problem, and the $28,000 for his six-week appointment might have been saved for scholarship programs that empower Oregonians who are at risk of withdrawing from post-secondary education due to economic hardship.
The state already paid Frohnmayer $245,700 in salary in his final year as the UO president plus a retirement payment in addition to supplements from the UO Foundation for a total of $650,000 plus a state-supplied home and a vehicle allowance.
This is enough, and authorities and Oregonians now should feel free to ask him his opinions in common matters with no charge.
More seriously, this sort of cronyism is exactly what we’ve come to expect from OUS, and it’s at the root of the Higher Ed problems in Oregon. Another example – the $45,000 OUS paid Ray Cotton at ML Strategies for this 12 page report, cribbed from the Chronicle.com. But the student above said it best.