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Florida International University got a new president this weekend: Mark Rosenberg. And guess what? He'll make more than the last guy, Mitch Maidique. At $680,000 per year, he'll garner a lot more than you or President Obama or the heads of many multinational corporations or foreign lands.
Thing is, even as the FIU president's salary is rising — Maidique made a paltry $630,000 — the university is slashing majors, departments, and jobs. And it's raising tuition.
In effect, it's screwing you and me, the taxpayers.
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Over the past six years, the number of administrators at the 39,000-student university has nearly doubled, from 377 to 742, Nissen shows in a recent report titled "How Does FIU Spend Its Money?" During the same period, the quantity of professors and others who work in the classroom — "people who produce something," says Nissen — has grown by only one percent: from 928 to 933.
And check out these stats: Total tuition paid has increased by 60 percent and is likely to go even higher. Administrative salaries — for "deans, associate deans, provosts, and associate provosts, the highly paid people" — have doubled.
"They just keep diverting more and more money to administrative overload," Nissen says. "They wiped out entire majors in the college of engineering. They are talking about wiping out religion, dance, and fine arts. These are stunning numbers."
So far, university leadership hasn't responded to the study, which was sponsored by a union that includes the professors. A call to FIU Associate Vice President Tonja Moore, who Nissen says is working on a response, wasn't returned.