It’s essential because a travesty continues, and that’s the tenure of Royce Engstrom at UM.
The Missoulian’s article from a week or so ago is called UM will cut 201 faculty, staff jobs because of falling enrollment.
This comes out to “52 faculty posts and 149 other positions.”
I’m not sure what those “other positions” are, but since we don’t really feel like naming them I’m assuming they’re the low-paying kind with few benefits.
Engstrom is doing this so UM can “meet its budget challenge in the 2016 and 2017 fiscal year.”
According to the article, the announcement came in the University Theatre, which was overflowing. After the news “members of the campus grilled the president on the direction of UM.”
You can tell how far the stranglehold of fear on the faculty is waning by the following comment: “some suggested the president must make deeper cuts at the administrative level.” Some even had the audacity to suggest “UM should have planned more strategically much earlier.”
Boy, when Engstrom hears talk like that I’m sure it’s right to the pitchfork shed to round up the usual suspects. In this case those suspects happen to be from the Liberal Arts Department.
One of the leading critics is Professor Michel Valentin. He made $69,576 in 2013 so I know it’s not his pay package that threatens Engstrom (Engstrom got $287,925 that year (p. 74 of the PDF)).
Let’s take a look at some of the other administrators and what they get paid:
$100,000+ Salary Range
- Perry Brown (Provost Office): $176,798
- Irma Russell (School of Law Dean): $175,158
- Robert Duringer (VP Admin & Finance): $158,346
- Christopher Comer (College Arts/Sciences Dean): $154,655
- Larry Gianchetta (School of Business Dean): $154,063
- David Forbes (Research Administration): $151,990
- Teresa Branch (VP Student Affairs): $149,506
- Robin Selvig (Intercoll Athletics): $144,398
- Rosemary Keller (VP Admin & Finance): $138,016
- Lois Knapp (Information Technology): $137,567
- Dawn Ressel (Planning, Budgeting): $136,079
- Roberta Evans (Dean School of Education): $134,793
- Stephen Kalm (College of Visual and Performing Arts): $129,026
- Arlene Walker-Andrews (Provost Office): $128,222
- Roger Maclean (School of Extended and Lifelong): $126,750
- Wayne Tinkle (Intercoll Athletics): $126,526
- Kent Haslam (Intercoll Athletics): $126,463
- Vernon Grund (College HPBS): $125,206
- Lois Muir (Provost Instructional Support): $121,017
- James Burchfield (College of Forestry): $117,464
- Donna Lewis (Animal Care): $117,099
- Jed Liston (Admissions): $110,806
- Charles Janson (College Arts/Sciences Dean): $109,567
- Hugh Jesse (Facilities Services Admin): $109,127
- James McKusick (Davidson Honors College): $107,834
- Barry Good (Dean/Missoula College): $105,199
- Jack Stanford (Biological Research Station): $104,077
- James Staub (Provost Instructional Support): $102,227
- William Johnston (Alumni Center): $105,000
- Terri Philips (Human Resources): $100,460
- Judy Fredenberg (Office of Sponsored Prog): $100,089
$90,000 Salary Range
- Joseph Fanguy (Research Administration): $97,247
- Rebecca Christiaens (Provost Office): $95,196
- Stacey Gordon (Law Library): $93,262
- Kent McGowan (Financial Aid Admin): $93,146
- Patrick Barkey (Burea of Business and Econ Research): $92,586
- John Thunstrom (Banner Implementation): $90,019
$80,000 Salary Range
- Kevin Krebsbach (Planning & Construction): $89,245
- Edwin Johnson (Registrar’s Office): $88,020
- Norma Nickerson (Travel Research HB 84): $86,891
- Juana Alcala (Admissions): $86,350
- William Marcus (Broadcast Media Center): $84,598
- Rhondie Voorhees (VP Student Affairs): $84,392
- Thomas Travis (Central Systems): $84,013
- Stanley Harris (Network): $81,737
- Peggy Schalk (Facilities Services Admin): $80,513
- Kathleen Burgmeier (Internal Audit): $80,639
$70,000 Salary Range
- John Parkey (Central Systems): $79,948
- Danny Corti (Environmental Health): $79,736
- John McCormick (Business Services): $78,997
- Ian Robbins (Business Services): $78,896
- Tom Javins (Central Heat & Utilities): $78,794
- Thomas Battaglia (IT Web): $78,530
- Saxon Holbrook (KUFM): $77,769
- Lucy France (President’s Office): $77,769
- Lynn Stocking (Dean/Missoula College): $77,412
- Greggory Wickes (Banner Implementation): $75,898
- Julie Cannon (Student Success): $75,661
- Susan Harper-Whalen (Dean School of Education): $75,652
- C. Wingard (Planning, Budgeting): $75,226
- Tony Jablonski (Central Systems): $73,668
- Sharon O’Hare (Student Success): $72,643
- Rebecca Power (President’s Office): $72,641
- Barry Brown (Library): $72,226
- Sheila Hoffland (Research Administration): $71,212
- Jameel Chaudhry (Planning & Construction): $71,425
- Barbara Koostra (Montana Museum): $71,413
- Claudia Denker (Legal Counsel): $70,798
- Tony Tomsu (Planning, Budgeting): $70,347
Now, for comparison sake, let’s take a look at some of the faculty pay at the University of Montana:
- John Eglin (Chair of History Department): $67,702
- Angelica Lawson (Native American Studies): $59,498
- David Esteves (Physics & Astronomy): $56,500
- Bonnie Spence (Mathematics): $41,441
- Terry Weidner (Political Science): $35,499
- Mark Hanson (Liberal Studies Program): $35,205
I’ll be the first to admit that there’s usually one person in each department making more than $100,000.
Well, shouldn’t they be? They’re worth a lot more to the university than those fools in Admin, are they not?
Again, what have those fools in Admin ever done? We know they’ve driven enrollment into the ground, but besides that…anything?
I’d also like to point out that most salaries in the business school average $80,000.
I think the problem is clear. We have a Babylonian Captivity of UM, one where bloated and full-of-themselves administrators are taking more than professors. They justify this by making us believe what they do is important.
Um…what do they do? What do any of those people in Research, Provost, or the President’s Office do?
Don’t expect an answer to that – Engstrom is in defensive mode, remember? It’s batten down the hatches and ride this storm out.
Bullock makes that a lot easier, as there’s a lot of back-rubbing there.
Oh, and how about the Board of Regents? Who are those people anyways, and why do they do nothing?
Also…why is no one in Building Maintenance making more than $68,000 and why is no one in Custodial Services making more than $39,000?
Oh, that’s right – what those people do isn’t important. It doesn’t really do much to increase the personal wealth of Engstrom and his cronies.
Remember, these were the pay packages those people got back in 2013. I’m sure it’s more now, at least for the administrators. We see that they make more than the faculty.
Strange – I’ve never met a student that went to college because of who was in Administration.
I also see from the Missoulian article that 29 graduate assistants will be eliminated, which means professors have to do more of their own work. I’m sure their lecturing will take a back seat, at least the introductory levels, as they handle their own grading and such.
Another 31 staff from the support programs are going. I’m not sure what they do, but it’ll probably diminish UM’s ability to keep pace with other regional and even national institutions.
I’m not sure Administration is what parents are looking for in a school. UM’s is sure bloated however.
I read through the comments on the Missoulian post and most people are pissed off. Of course, they’re posting anonymously and can continue to do so. We don’t have the problem that Butte has.
Still, what does it matter? I doubt anything will change. We’ve talked about the coziness of Engstrom with the Helena cabal, whether it’s politicians, businesspeople, developers are all three rolled into one.
They’re closely linked with the capital and have been since the times of Dennison. Don’t forget, Dennison was firmly entrenched at that institution for two decades, beginning in 1990.
So there’s a deep institutional rot at UM. One commenter mentioned that the bloated fatcats in Administration will be retiring soon. That’s good, though we should be outraged at the fleecing they gave us, as the commenter suggests.
There’ll be no outrage, however, not in an election year. It’s business as usual and keeping that apple cart steady and upright. We’re going down the road together, damn it, so stay in line.
What would happen if some rich challenger came along?
I have this delusional fantasy from time to time.
What if one of my books took off and sold a million copies and got made into a movie and kicked some serious ass at the box office?
Even a fraction of a percent of that would give me the resources to pretty much buy any Montana election that I wanted.
Really, all you need to do is run a shit-ton of ads in either the newspapers, on the TV, or over the radio. Send out a bunch of mailers every week or so and have a crack social media team, preferably from Montana, but back East will do if you have enough money.
That’s what it’s all about – having enough money. That’s why Bullock is out of state raising money all the time. It’s the typical Wall Street Democrat procedure. If you can spin it over the airwaves everyday, make people think what you want them to think, then you’ve got the election in the bag.
That’s the situation we have now with Steve Bullock and Greg Gianforte.
Greg Gianforte is that guy that made a shit-ton of money and now looks ready to spew it all across the Treasure State. Yes, we’ll be seeing his bald mug and shiny teeth everywhere, every-fucking-where.
That scares the pants off Bullock and the Helena cabal. They want to keep things as they are, but the problem is, Bullock was never in a line of work that brought home a shit-ton of money.
That’s why he’s in Missoula every couple of weeks at someone’s house doing a fundraiser of some sort. I’m sure he’s in other cities as well. Hell, the guy must be on the road 5 nights a week.
Now he’s got the added problem of making a new appointment, since he kicked Angela McLean to the curb. We know that Bullock is very incompetent when it comes to appointments (Walsh, anyone?).
You’ll get the McLean news here in this IR article. As usual with our sleeping beauties, there’s not much substance, analysis, or insight.
Anyways, that’s what political campaigns are all about – money. If Bullock can raise enough money he can get the word out. He doesn’t really need to listen to voters, or pretend to listen to voters, until the spring of 2016 or preferably later if there is no primary.
Ginaforte is the exact same way.
So there’s nothing to really get excited about in this slow election time, and there’s no reason in hell to expect anything at UM will change.
No, Engstrom will be sitting pretty there for some time. He might not make as much money, but I’m sure some under the table or backroom stuff will make up for that.
Is he doing anything illegal? I don’t think so – we’ve made all the illegal stuff legal now. Fatcats like him don’t get in trouble for stuff.
I was glad to see that the Missoulian had an article called $500,000 bonus? Engstrom will be up for compensation review in 2016.
Oh, how happy he is, profiting off our misery.
Now might be a good time to bring up Engstrom’s North Dakota heritage, his taxpayer-funded car, or even his obscene administrative costs…but I won’t do that.
Instead we need to think about the students.
That’s why I was glad to see some commentary on the effects of these job cuts by the Missoulian. On top of it, the Independent got into the game.
Dan Brooks got into it on the Independent this past week. Thankfully for UM, the story was published on Thanksgiving. That’s also good for the Indy – they won’t have to jeopardize any of their advertisers with their “provocative” content.
An added benefit is that few would have seen the letter by Katrina Schweitzer, one that pretty much said UM has lost its way and she doesn’t recognize it. Is she still working in the Secretary of State’s office?
Anyways, Brooks had some good opinions. I particularly liked this gem:
“Engstrom said he ‘wouldn’t dwell’ on the causes behind the enrollment drop, a statement that boggles the mind. The president of the University of Montana should most certainly dwell on why enrollment headcount has fallen by about 2,600 students since it peaked in 2011, the year he took office.”
He’s in defense mode, big time. His main purpose at this point is to deflect all attacks on his leadership, ignore those that are being critical, and cozying up to all that can help him.
That latter is Bullock.
Bullock will do nothing to rein in Engstrom, he’ll do nothing to pressure the Board of Regents to do something, and because of all that, we can expect UM to continue to go down the drain.
That’s the way Helena wants it. That’s the way Bullock wants it.