To the Board,
My name is Aldo Guerrero and I am a sophomore majoring in Political Science.
My decision to attend this institution was based entirely on its supposed affordability. SUPPOSED “affordability.” Now, it is getting pretty difficult to use that as a justification for coming here. May I remind everyone that this institution has increased tuition over 150% for over the past 10 years? In fact, tuition overall has increased higher than the rate of inflation. How can anyone in good conscience call that “affordable?” Any claim that states that this institution is “affordable” has little to no legitimacy whatsoever no matter what the administration wants the students to think, no matter how much you blame the state for your own financial failings.
I can understand the frustration towards the state of New Jersey for not adequately funding higher education, particularly this institution. But what YOU have to understand is that it is TWICE as frustrating for the student body since we have to 1) deal with a state that no longer cares about higher education AND 2) deal with an administration that advises its Board of Trustees to raise tuition every single year. All year long, this Board manages to get away with executing the President’s expensive non-transparent and non-democratic agenda with absolutely no meaningful discussion or dialogue in the face of the public. When this is all set and done, the students are then asked to foot the bill in the form of tuition hikes near the end of the school year. How is any of this even fair?
How is it fair that the students get their tuition raised, the faculty works without a contract, but the president manages to self-enrich herself with a $125,000 longevity bonus which she has outright REFUSED to give back on the grounds that she actually NEEDS this extra compensation? I can pull up the YouTube video where she blatantly refused to donate it in any shape or form despite the fact that Rutgers President Richard McCormick has donated his bonuses. How could the President NEED extra compensation if the President’s contract is filled with other lucrative bonuses such as a free house with a free housekeeper, a free car with a free driver, and an American Express Corporate Card all paid for with University funds which can include tuition. In addition, she is a tenured member of the English Department when she clearly does not teach and there is a clause in her contract that entitles her to an entire year’s worth of a paid sabbatical with full presidential salary should she decide to actually teach. Even if she decides to not teach, she is STILL entitled to a monetary performance bonus that cannot be less than her current salary ($350,000). Clearly, she does NOT need a longevity bonus. I don’t care if these perks are considered a standard. How can I believe that there is a budget crisis if the President accepts gifts like these and the Board approves of them? How can I believe that the University needs more money by raising tuition if there is obviously enough money to go around to fund these lucrative, higher privileged perks? If tuition goes up, I really hope that my money is not being used for self-enrichment purposes. University money should be money for education and NOT administration.