Why not cut from the top?

Students shoulder the high cost of University bureaucracy.

Reading Thomas TrehusâÄô Jan. 26 guest column, âÄúCuts hit poor students hardest,âÄù I desperately wanted to agree with everything he wrote. In a country that manages to put on âÄúAmerican IdolâÄù every year and at last count has produced 82 different kinds of Doritos, itâÄôs an absolute travesty that we canâÄôt send every willing and qualified student to college. But as someone who has been a part of the University of Minnesota for the past several years, I canâÄôt in good conscience act like the state is solely at fault âÄî and believe me, I really want to.
This school is badly run, not terribly so, but look around. ItâÄôs so bad that we actually have a minor program in leadership and pay people to teach it. Each residence hall has at least four salaried, full-time employees, as well as many part-time employees, not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars in spending on âÄúcommunity developmentâÄù programs that go on unattended, while the first years are getting trashed. In a Minnesota Daily feature last year, we learned that we have 21 associate vice presidents, nine assistant vice presidents, and 10 vice presidents.
I donâÄôt care about TCF Bank Stadium; at least thatâÄôs an actual observable thing that thousands of students and alumni can enjoy every year.
I care about middle and upper management at this school crushing everyone else. Because we know that these cuts arenâÄôt going to hurt them, theyâÄôre going to hurt the âÄúlittle people.âÄù The burden has fallen and will continue to fall on the people who teach the classes, sweep the floors and the undergraduates who take classes every semester.
The situation with the state Legislature isnâÄôt going to improve in the foreseeable future, and we have to make a choice as the responsible and sensible party of the two groups: Are we going to continue to raise tuition and exclude low-income Minnesotans from attending the stateâÄôs flagship school? Or will we make the hard decision and start consolidating some of those associate vice presidents? ItâÄôs up to us.