Open Letter on Athletics Spending

Friday, June 2, 2017

To the WSU Board of Trustees, Interim President Curtis McCray, and incoming President Cheryl Schrader:

 

We, the undersigned faculty, are writing to express our objection to the proposed FY18 budget announced on May 19. It calls for a $1.6 million increase in budgeted spending for intercollegiate athletics but cuts to every other major spending unit, including $9.5 million in cuts to the seven core colleges and $1 million in cuts to the library (not to mention $3.9 million additional cuts to BSoM and SoPP).

Indeed, when the Board of Trustees hired Dr. McCray as interim President, “maintaining [WSU’s] core athletics programs at a NCAA Division I level” appeared in the first sentence of the first item in the list of his duties specified in his contract.

Putting athletics on a par with academics and thus before the needs of our students is disgraceful and a gross strategic blunder! It continues the misplaced priorities that have characterized WSU spending in recent years and, along with gross mismanagement, led to the present fiscal crisis.

Under normal circumstances, it would be rational to give intercollegiate athletics a realistic budget, in line with the overspending that annually has occurred. But, in this fiscal crisis, it is inexplicable—even absurd. Spending on intercollegiate athletics has typically totaled about $10 million per year; in contrast, ticket sales have generated about $300 thousand per year. Even if one includes donations and other sources, the revenue generated by athletics has been about $2 million per year—most of which is offset by the subsidies that the university must provide to the Nutter Center because athletic events generate such little revenue.

There is no evidence that intercollegiate athletics is of much interest to most of our students. After all, through their fees, they pay for two “free” tickets to each basketball game, but student attendance is chronically and woefully low. Likewise, all the empty seats at athletic events and the minuscule revenue generated by athletics demonstrate that there is little community support for our teams either.

Students come to Wright State looking for a quality education at an affordable price so that they can have rewarding careers rather than McJobs. Taxpayers expect and need the research of our faculty and students to benefit our communities and foster economic development. None of these objectives are advanced by increasing spending on intercollegiate athletics.

In closing, then, we call upon you to totally eliminate the increase budgeted for intercollegiate athletics. Instead, we propose that this $1.6 million be devoted to scholarships. That change in the proposed budget would help to stabilize enrollments and to restore our badly tarnished reputation in the community.

Martin Kich

 

Aaron Wolpert

Abinash Agrawal

Adrian Corbett

Alan Chesen

Allen Hunt

Alpana Sharma

Amelia Hubbard

Amir  Zadeh

Amit Sharma

Amit Sheth

Andrea Harris

Andrew Strombeck

Angela Johnson

Angie Clayton

Ann Farrell

Ann Stalter

Annette Canfield

Annette Oxindine

Anthony Evans

Arnab Shaw

Arvind Elangovan

Audrey Mcgowin

Awad Halabi

Barbara Fowler

Barbara Hopkins

Barbara Hull

Barbara Kraszpulska

Basil Naah

Betsy Witt

Bin Wang

Brady Allen

Brandy Foster

Brenda Young

Bruce Cromer

Bruce Laforse

Byron Crews

Carl Sabo

Carlos Costa

Carol Herringer

Carol Mejia-Laperle

Carol Morgan

Caroline Cao

Caroline Hillard

Carolyn Stoermer

Catherine Crowley

Chad Campbell

Charis Elliott

Charles Gulas

Chinonye Chukwu

Chris Barton

Christine Sitko

Christine Wilson

Christopher Beck

Christopher Deweese

Christopher Oldstone-Moore

Chuck Ciampaglio

Cynthia Marshall

D Miyasaki

Damaris Serrano

Dan Halm

Daniel Slilaty

Daniel Zehringer

Danielle Rante

Dave Benson

Dave Hochstein

David Bukovinsky

David Castellano

David Hall

David Seitz

Deborah Crusan

Dennis Loranger

Detrice Barry

Dorothy Alvarez

Doug Keown

Doyle Watts

Drew Swanson

Elliot Gaines

Eric Rowley

Erik Banks

Erik Potts

Frank Eguaroje

Franklin Cox

Geoffrey Owens

George Huang

Gina Oswald

Gregory Kozlowski

Gretchen Mcnamara

Guozhu Dong

Haili Du

Hank Dahlman

Hannah Chai

Heeyoung Shin

Hope Jennings

Huma Bashir

Ioana Pavel

Ion Juvina

Irena Joseph

J Bernstein

J Weinzimmer

Jackson Leung

James Carter

James Menart

James Schwartz

James Tipps

Jeannette Marchand

Jennifer Kaminski

Jerry Clark

Jerry Nelms

Jessica Barnett

Jill  Lindsey

Jim Adamitis

John Conteh

John Dickinson

John Gallagher

John Haught

John Kurokawa

John Martin

Jonas Thoms

Jonathan Varhola

Joseph Cavanaugh

Josh Ash

Josh Francis

Joshua Stomel

Judson Murray

Judy Jagger-Mescher

Judy Ribak

Karen Lahm

Karen Meyer

Kathryn Meyer

Katie Hossler

Kefu  Xue

Keke Chen

Kelly Battles

Kevin Duffy

Kim Vito

Kimberly Warrick

Kristine Scordo

Kuppuswamy Arumugam

Kwang-Jin Cho

Labib Rouhana

Lafleur Small

Lance Greene

Larry Weinstein

Lary Sanders

Laurel Monnig

Len Kenyon

Leslie Neyland

Liam Anderson

Linda Farmer

Lindsey Martin

Lisa Kenyon

Lynne Kelley

Maher Amer

Marian Kazimierczuk

Marie Thompson

Marjorie Hess

Marjorie Mclellan

Mark Verman

Marlene Stuber

Marlese Durr

Martha Antolik

Mary Coyle

Matthew Benjamin

Megan Faragher

Megan Rua

Mei Tian

Meilin Liu

Melissa Spirek

Michelle Cipriano

Michelle Metzner

Michelle Reed

Michelle Smith

Mindy Fulks

Mindy McNutt

Misty Richmond

Nancy Garner

Nathan Bowling

Nicole Richter

Noeleen Mcilvenna

Oliver Stoutner

Pam Knauertlavarnwa

Pamela Tsang

Pascal Hitzler

Paula Bubulya

Peggy Kelly

Penny Park

Pramod Kantha

Pratik Parikh

Qingbo Huang

Quan Zhong

Rachel Sturm

Raghavan Srinivasan

Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca Teed

Rick Volkers

Robert Ritzi

Robert Rubin

Ron Butcher

Rory Roberts

Roy Vice

Sarah Mcginley

Sarah Tebbens

Scott Bruce

Scott Geisel

Scott Watamaniuk

Sean  Pollock

Shannon Vaughn

Sharon Heilmann

Sharon Jones

Shelley Jagow

Sheng Li

Shengrong Cai

Sheri Stover

Sherri Sutter

Shreya Bhandari

Shulin Ju

Sirisha Naidu

Stacey Hundley

Stefan Chinov

Stephanie Davis

Stephanie Dickey

Stephanie Triplett

Steven Higgins

Stuart Mcdowell

Subhashini Ganapathy

Susan Carrafiello

Suzanne Franco

Tanvi Banerjee

Tara Hill

Tarun Goswami

Teressa Mcwilliams

Theresa Myadze

Thomas Lukowicz

Thomas Rooney

Thomas Wischgoll

Tk Prasad

Tracy Brewer

Tracy Longley-Cook

Travis Clark

Tyler Green

Valerie Stoker

Vance Saunders

Vikram Sethi

Volker Bahn

Weiwen Long

Weizhen Wang

William Romine

William Slattery

Yong Pei

Yongjun Choi

Zdravka Todorova

Zhiqiang Wu

 

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Author: martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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