#ChopTheTop

Dear colleagues,

Remember summer … barely? We know, it’s difficult with so much happening, and not happening, at GW and in the world. But slow down for a second and try to recall. Remember when, in the midst of a hiring freeze and staff layoffs, LeBlanc hired Heather Swain to be Vice President of Marketing and Communications? Remember, even before you knew about Swain’s abhorrent previous work, how you wondered, “Wait a minute. Aren’t we in the midst of a hiring freeze? Aren’t our colleagues being laid off right now?” Remember? We wondered, too, and we continue to wonder.

We wonder why the administration insists on cutting those with the lowest salaries while their own salaries remain astronomical.  We don’t know how much GW’s administrators make now, and they won’t tell us. But here’s what we do know, from FY 2019:
Thomas LeBlanc, President$1,451,969
Mark Diaz, Exec VP and CFO$650,788
Forrest Maltzman, Provost and Exec VP$671,872
Beth Nolan, Sr VP and General Counsel$746,751
Ann McCorvey, Acting Exec VP and Treasurer$579,414
Louis Katz, Former Exec VP and Treasurer$1,123,366
Donna Arbide, VP for Development & Alumni$644,106
Leo Chalupa, Former VP for Research$601,545
Loretta Early, CIO$383,067
Patrick Nero, Former Athletic Dir$1,565,601
Steven Knapp , Former President, Ex Officio$465,448
That’s just under 9 million dollars right there, for only 11 positions.

It’s not especially surprising that an administration that positions itself as the only group capable of making decisions for the university would choose to reward its members so lavishly.  President LeBlanc alone is one of the highest paid university presidents in the United States.  

We demand a better alternative: #ChopTheTop. Let’s have a thoroughgoing audit of the upper administration and its various appendages. Start at the top. How much money could the university save, and how much more productive and humane could it be, if we weren’t burdened with an overabundance of Vice Presidents and Vice Provosts with extraordinarily high salaries? 

Our colleagues in the Dean’s Offices are being called on by the central administration to “balance the budget.” We say:  Let’s not just balance the budget, let’s redress it: #ChopTheTop. Refuse to cut compensation or jobs in your schools and recommend instead that a significant number of the bloated salaries at the top of the administrative hierarchy be cut.

There’s more to #ChopTheTop than eliminating needless positions and reducing salaries. As numerous news outlets, including The Washington Post and the Chronicle of Higher Education have noted, GW is currently suffering, at best, a lack of leadership. We must remove theLeBlanc administration and demand a more democratic Board of Trustees in order to institute genuine shared governance structures and procedures.  This should begin with the selection of the next President by those who are the heart of this university: students, staff, and faculty.

#ChopTheTop

In Solidarity,
The GWU Faculty Association

Published by GWUFA

GWUFA is a grass-roots, faculty-run organization and has no official relation to the university administration or the Faculty Senate.

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