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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Money: That’s what UA wants

    Tuition will be leaping yet higher next year, while a hiring freeze persists into the summer and the state Legislature has approved a $26 million budget cut, $5.9 million of which is going to be UA’s problem. Meanwhile, parking lots – and the home of William and Barbara Kennedy – will be razed to make room for three new residence halls with a combined price tag of $178 million – a tab current dorm dwellers will be picking up thanks to an 8.9 percent increase, on average, in the cost of their rent. Is it me, or is UA’s economy going to hell in a hand-basket?

    All this, of course, has happened while absentee men’s basketball coach and part-time superhero made of solid gold and puppies Lute Olson and interim head coach Kevin O’Neill raked in over $700,000 apiece. (President Robert Shelton’s salary tops out at $570,020, but he at least sends me a lot of e-mail.)

    Considering our university is perpetually hard-pressed to make ends meet, it’s time we find easier, more effective and, frankly, fairer ways of dealing with gigantic state budget cuts and a generally lackluster national economy. Not that there aren’t other ways of cutting corners, but if Olson’s, O’Neill’s and Shelton’s salaries were capped at, say, a modest $100,000, almost one-third of UA’s share of that $5.9 million budget cut would be taken care of instantly. We could also consider whether now is perhaps not the best time to start building almost $200 million worth of dorms. Making cutbacks in sensible places would allow us to afford the new faculty and staff the university has been needing for years; to afford raises to retain current faculty and staff; and, in so doing, to attract more students (and their tuition) with the promise of an excellent education at a genuinely student-, staff- and faculty-focused institution, rather than one that cares more about basketball coaches and construction projects.

    Alyson Hill is a senior majoring in classics, history and German studies.

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