Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Tulsa Community College

The Tulsa World broke a story today about the Regents for the Tulsa Community College system quietly voting very generous "golden parachute" deals for the top four or five executives. According to the World, President Van Trese is set to carry off about $1 million when he retires in the next few years. The Regents call it a "retention package" so these valuable assets won't leave. TCC faculty and workers call it an extraordinarily selfish nest lining by the guys at the top.

The fact that the TCC leadership didn't tell anyone about their cushy deal until they found out the Tulsa World was onto the story says they thought they could get away with keeping it a secret. I don't blame them - I'd be ashamed too. Especially when faculty is paid so poorly. One adjunct professor told me he gets a whopping $1600 per semester for teaching.

Now I think public servants often get shafted and are underappreciated and should be paid better and more in line with the private sector - but copying the selfish greed of Enron-type CEOs is not what I have in mind. I'm sure Van Trese deserves a good retirement after serving the community for decades - but $1 million on top of years of a decent salary? No. Not when everyone in the middle and at the bottom of his organization get shafted.

I'm almost shocked that the Tulsa World actually did some investigative reporting. The World is a good paper but not known for good investigative reporting. It's about time.

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