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MnSCU-Rosenstone negotiations, Part II

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One thing that should bother taxpayers about the contract that Dr. Rosenstone, the chancellor of Minnesota Schools and Universities, aka MnSCU, secretly negotiated with Clarence Hightower, the chairman of the MnSCU Board of Trustees, is Chancellor Rosenstone's compensation.

The contract that Chancellor-Elect Rosenstone called for a $360,000 base salary. Chancellor Rosenstone's base salary in this contract is $387,250, a $27,250 increase. Chancellor Rosenstone also received "a $43,160 boost to allowances for transportation and other expenses."

That's a $70,410 pay and compensation increase from Chancellor Rosenstone's initial contract.

It isn't that that's too much compensation for a competent administrator. It's that Chancellor Rosenstone isn't a competent administrator. Chancellor Rosenstone's performance is so subpar that the IFO, aka the Inter Faculty Organization, sent a bill of particulars to the MnSCU Board of Trustees. Here's the IFO's list of particulars:

  • Failure to represent effectively colleges and universities within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) at the Minnesota Legislature
  • Failure to comply with legislative language on budget shortfalls
  • Failure to provide transparency on administrative efficiencies and external fundraising
  • Failure to oversee effectively responsibility for the administrative operations on our campuses
  • Failure to advocate on critical issues on behalf of students
  • Failure to address the challenges of cultural diversity
  • Failure to include sufficient state university faculty input to budget process and planning initiatives
  • Failure to respect collective bargaining process and environment
  • Failure to reach contract settlement with the IFO, even though all MnSCU and non-MnSCU state unions have reached agreement
  • Failure to retain staff who provide key administrative functions in the System Office

Metropolitan State's payroll system was so disfunctional that the entire HR department resigned before they could be fired. Not surprisingly, the president at Metropolitan State is being allowed to 'retire' at the end of FY2014. Moorhead's president is being allowed to 'retire' rather than getting terminated, although for different reasons.

That's before talking about Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport. President Davenport should've been terminated immediately after the mediator ruled he'd wrongfully terminated Mankato's head football coach.

After that, St. Cloud State's enrollment has dropped by 17.9% in 4 years. Then there's the Coborn's Plaza initiative. That's lost $6,400,000 in 4 years. Add onto that the announcement that the budget for FY2015 will have to be cut by $3,600,000.

It's a bit harsh to say that MnSCU apparently specializes in financial mismanagement. It isn't a stretch, though, to say that financial mismanagement is too common.

Chancellor Rosenstone's highest profile institutions are too big a mess to warrant a $70,000-a-year pay raise. In fact, a strong case could be made that he shouldn't have had his contract extended.

The trustees are supposed to be the taxpayers watchdog. Instead, they're the chancellor's lapdogs.

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