March 27, 2015
As President Jane Fernandes expressed during the community meeting with students and board of trustees members, Guilford’s budget crisis may seem sudden to us, but it has been building for many years. Action must be taken so that Guilford can sustain itself in the future. However, before decisions are made, we feel strongly that the entire Guilford community must be accurately informed and given the opportunity to share our thoughts. An exclusive and nontransparent process will not reflect the concerns of students, staff or faculty. When Jane came to visit Guilford last spring she acknowledged the lack of financial transparency the community had been afforded by President Chabotar’s administration. She vowed to not follow his pattern.
Hence, the editorial board of the Guilfordian urges all those on the budget committee addressing the $2 million deficit to uphold transparency.
Meanwhile, our community is currently being told “everything is on the table” to possibly be cut. This is meant to be a comforting sentiment, but we take issue with this rhetoric.
If everything really is on the table, we demand that the highest-paid administrative employees, such as the VP of advancement, VP of finance, president, director of facilities, etc., be considered for salary cuts. We feel strongly that our community needs to take money from the top and distribute it to programs that are constantly in need of more monetary support. We urge the committee to keep in mind historically underfunded departments such as the Multicultural Education Department, the Bonner Center and the Health and Counseling Center, as well as many others, and not repeat these same patterns.
Though some cuts are necessary, the editorial board would be disappointed to see a repetition of austerity-like cuts that starve those already suffering and keep rewarding those already comfortable.