UK trustees disrespect faculty, staff

September 16, 2010 

As if it weren't enough injury to the University of Kentucky faculty and staff to see retiring President Lee T. Todd Jr. receive a nearly 52 percent pay raise retroactive to last year, some members of the board of trustees had to add insult in the process.

Staff trustee Sheila Brothers rightly questioned the timing of the salary hike, noting that some members of the faculty and staff must live from paycheck to paycheck.

"We do not pay the cleaning lady what we pay the heart surgeon," Trustee Pamela May responded.

Excuse us?

Last time we checked, cleaning ladies were not part of the team that performs heart surgery. And in a pinch, a heart surgeon may be able to fly solo on some procedures.

But a university president can't do much without the support of faculty and staff.

Using a condescending comparison that implies otherwise is just further proof of how completely and utterly tone deaf the board was in taking this action.

And vice chair James Stuckert, who was "just appalled we're talking about this and not paying (Todd) what he's due," should instead be appalled at sending the very clear message to the faculty and staff that trustees consider them irrelevant at UK.

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