HEY NED! What Good Colleges Do: Pandemic Bonuses

Hey Ned (current Governor of Connecticut/Hartford Mansion dweller)!

Welcome to a new feature at Local1973: an aggregator of stories from across the continent and around the world on what colleges and universities are doing right, and in contrast what you, Governor Ned Lamont, and CSCU President Terrence Cheng, and the Board of Regents in Connecticut are getting so very, very, very wrong.

Today, we’re highlighting the excellent initiative announced this week by Michigan State University (yes, an institution funded by public monies!). MSU “is giving full- and part-time professors, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate assistants $1,500 bonuses in recognition of their work during the pandemic”.

In an announcement about the new bonus, Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MSU’s president, said that it’s important to note that “we still face challenges to our recurring base budget from a number of sources, including changes in enrollment patterns during the past two years, as well as new costs from the pandemic, which we will continue to address during the next three to four years.”

Stanley also said, “There is great fatigue and stress in the campus community as we continue to confront this dynamic and ongoing pandemic,” and that “stronger caregiver support is needed as many are navigating significant personal challenges, in addition to substantial workloads.” The university has been anticipating federal action on caregivers, he said, but “even without a policy at the national level, we must act at MSU.”

Inside HigherEd

Interesting. A state-funded institution that recognizes the challenges of its workforce, and makes decisions based on the long-term good and forecast for the system. In Connecticut, the BOR is currently refusing to find any middle ground on contract negotiations with the 4Cs, is forcing the misguided consolidation plan on the system and wasting good resources to do so, and only offered faculty a small stipend to endure broadband costs associated with pivoting on a dime to remote learning—adjuncts, of course, received only $10, which won’t get Comcast to answer my emails let alone deliver high-speed internet to my home office.

Ned? Terry? BOR-folk? Thoughts?

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