opinion

LETTER: IU salary increases show budget is only tight for some of us

A graduate student argues recent raises are hypocritical of the university



fall2020letter

President McRobbie,

I am writing to express my concern and disgust at the recent raises given to several IU employees of.

In an email sent March 23, you specified that in response to the pandemic “no salary increases or bonuses will be processed until further notice.” Furthermore, departments received instruction to shrink their annual budgets. According to the coverage in the Herald-Times and information available online through the state of Indiana, raises have continued.

The football season has been delayed —with an ever-increasing possibility of being canceled altogether— yet several coaches received more than $140,000 in combined raises. Additionally, raises outside of the athletic department total more than $200,000. Perhaps the most personally insulting is the salary raise of Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel who frequently reminds students of the sacrifices we must make to keep the university open and running.

And we have sacrificed. Prior to the pandemic, I frequented the recreation center several times a week and attended weekly group therapy at Counseling and Psychological Services. Now neither of those services are available to me, but my student fees remain the same. Twice a year, I am required to give back half a month’s salary to the university so that I can work here. Twice a year, I have to rely on my roommate to pay for groceries because student fees wipe out my finances for a month. This year it is the same story, but I cannot even benefit from the services I am paying for.  

Those of us who make the least are being asked to sacrifice, while those who make the most get raises.

These raises may not seem like much. Robel’s salary increase of $6,212 seems small compared to the $436,000 she was paid last year, or the $649,000 that you are paid annually, but an extra $500 a month would make an immense difference for me and my peers.  

These raises are hypocritical, insulting and leave me disappointed in and distrusting of the leadership of this university.

Charles A. Ault

Graduate Student

Department of Chemistry

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