The Voice: Faculty should accept year without raises

In light of the uncertainty regarding Seton Hall’s current budget standing, The Setonian believes that all members of the University community must be prepared to tighten our belts.

Students, as the front page story reported, experienced a 5 percent tuition increase effective during the 2010 summer session as the University attempted to raise money for a variety of initiatives, including funding a two percent faculty raise and separate cost of living adjustment.

While The Setonian understands and sympathizes with members of the faculty who did not receive a raise or cost of living adjustment last year, we believe the financial health of the University is paramount. To that end, The Setonian believes the University faculty should be prepared to accept another year without raises.

We do not mean to diminish the importance of Seton Hall’s faculty, but in times of financial difficulty, all members of the community should be prepared to make sacrifices in order to ensure the future of our institution.

In the 2008 edition of U.S. News and World Report’s College Ranking issue, Seton Hall was listed as one of the top schools for students graduating with debt. According to the listing, 61 percent of members of Seton Hall’s Class of 2006 graduated with debt. Seton Hall graduates from that year averaged $37,724, the highest of any of the schools on U.S. News’ “Most Debt” national universities list. More recent issues of U.S. News’ College Rankings did not include debt load information on Seton Hall.

Seton Hall undergraduate students already face a large debt load. Asking students to shoulder another tuition increase without asking the faculty and staff to make similar sacrifices is unreasonable.

Seton Hall needs to be realistic about how it is spending our money. Likewise, it must be realistic about tuition increases. Five percent increases every year is too much of a burden for students to take on.

Let us be clear, we are not saying faculty do not deserve increases in compensation, that they are not in need of them. Likewise, we are not advocating for Seton Hall to deny raises to the faculty and staff of the University. Our point is that raises cannot come at the expense of students.

Seton Hall clearly needs to reevaluate how it allocates its money and executes its budget. The inability to give its faculty a cost of living adjustment two years in a row is evidence of poor financial management and proof that changes must be made sooner rather than later.

Author: Staff Writer

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