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Administrators to defend pay increases to Student Senate
Following pay raises that some Ohio University Student Senate members call questionable, Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit and Vice President for Finance and Administration Stephen Golding will defend their salary increases at next week’s senate meeting.
Senate executives held a meeting with Benoit and Golding Tuesday night, and though senate members said it was a successful first dialogue, discussion about pay increases will continue at future meetings.
Senate executives are unhappy with the way the recent tuition hike was presented to the body, said Senate President Zach George.
Two weeks before the pay increases were approved, Benoit presented an “apocalyptic scenario” to senate members in April, saying budget cuts would close Baker University Center, Alden Library and Grover Center, George said.
“There is a disconnect between the voice of the student body and the goals of the administration,” said Evan Ecos, senate treasurer.
“Students don’t understand the budget,” Ecos said Benoit told senate members Tuesday. “(Benoit’s) attitude is ‘this is what we’re doing, we’ll tell you when it’s done,’” he said.
Senate wants students’ opinions to be considered in the actual discussions rather than after the decisions have made, Ecos said.
Comparing the university policies to corporate standards, George said students are the majority shareholders of the institution, paying 44 percent of the university’s funds. Senate members feel student opinion is not proportionally represented in the decision-making process, George said.
Senate is trying to handle the situation in the most professional and efficient way possible, said Joel Newby, senate’s director of media relations.
Students should bring their concerns to next week’s senate meeting when Benoit and Golding are in attendance, Ecos said.
“We are going to ask, respectfully, that they share these sentiments to them,” he said. “We’re going to hold the administration’s feet to the fire.”