To the Editor:
The following are comments on the article about: “The Grant County Prospectors held their annual Legislative Communications Forum on Nov. 28, 2017 at Western New Mexico University's Light Hall”.
The comments are on the presentation by President Shepard.
According to the article, “Shepard said the biggest need is compensation, as no one on the faculty and staff has had a raise in years”. This is not true, the top administrators received a combined salary increase of over $106,000 this fiscal year, and here are the details:
VP Academic Affairs From $152,085 to $196,000 increase of 29%
VP Student Affairs $113,760 to $130,000 increase of 14%
VP External Affairs $111,529 to $125,000 increase of 12%
Head of Financial Aid $50,779 to $70,000 increase of 38%
Head of Admissions $45,000 to $47,477 increase of 6%
Head Student Records $58,918 to $70,000 increase of 19%
Also, President Shepard will receive more than $120,000 more this year than last year.
President Shepard, also, said, “We are healthy in reserves, with $5 million to $7 million for a rainy day. But that's one-time money. It's the recurring side that's hard."
Where do reserves come from? They come from not spending money from the state and the students. One of the tricks Western has been playing for years is to not spend money on maintaince and when things get bad ask the state for funding for new roofs and the like. The Board of Regents has approves over $4 million in construction at Western mainly from reserves and also approved a half million in mainly athletic scholarships from reserves for next year.
“Morales asked about not being competitive in pay. Shepard said the university would need at least $400,000 to become competitive.” Where could this $400,000 come from? For one thing the Board of Regents could pay the President an amount comparable to the presidents of other comprehensive schools in New Mexico. The President of Western will be paid over $460,000 in cash this fiscal year, the president of Highlands, larger than Western, gets $232,000 this fiscal year. A $100,000 could easily be cut from the President’s salary. The $100,000 that went to the top administrators could have been shared by everyone. The University has a million dollar, ineffective recruitment program run by employees of Western, $200,000 could easily be cut from the program and the remained given to a professional advertising company that would know how to get the best bang for the buck. There’s how to get the $400,000 without extra money from the state.
PO Box 2223, Silver City, NM 88062