University of Connecticut administrators are under fire Friday for receiving big bonuses despite fiscal troubles.
The state is struggling to solve a budget deficit and is expected to lay off nearly 1,000 state workers.
UConn has also suffered from the deficit.
They have introduced plans to increase tuition by 31% and have cut programs.
Yet UConn President Susan Herbst and her top staffers are receiving large raises.
In 2015, Herbst’s salary was $768,000. She received a $29,000 raise this year and two bonuses that led to a compensation of over $1,000,000.
That’s excluding her earnings from the UConn Foundation, which does not release how much money it gives to staffers.
House Republican minority leader Themis Klarides said she disagrees with Herbst’s high pay.
“A $200,000 raise to a president of a university doesn’t seem to me—maybe I am missing something—it doesn’t seem to be a reasonable way to spend the money,” said Klarides.
UConn sophomore Ryan Mayer also expressed frustration with Herbst’s pay.
“[There are] a lot of new students here and then we get the news all of a sudden tuition is going to be hiked up,” said Mayer.
Mayer’s mother Janet said her son is suffering due to the school’s cuts.
“He has a class with 70-something students without a TA. They are cutting and spending in the wrong places,” said Mayer.
Herbst defended the decision and said first rate administrators deserve similar pay to first rate coaches.
She said the small number of administrators receiving high pay has no impact on the school’s overall budget, workforce or tuition rates.
Governor Dannel Malloy is not critical of the raises.
Malloy’s press secretary said the school “must do what it takes to attract the best and the brightest to their university.”
Some are calling for the raises to be rescinded or held.
It is not clear whether that decision is possible.
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