D. Joseph & Mary P. Buys
1016 High Street
Marquette, MI 49855-3609

November 14, 2000

Editor, The Mining Journal
249 W. Washington Street 
Marquette, MI 49855

Mr. Jack Leadbetter in his November 8th letter supporting NMU President Judy Bailey's raise presented two "logical reasons" for this raise. First, he asks has President Bailey's performance been higher or lower than expected? He says only the Board knows. I feel President Bailey was given an incredibly large raise as a reward for basically doing her job. I would like to believe the NMU Board of Control when they were hiring included in the job description a requirement that the candidate should be an innovative leader and fundraiser. Obviously, the Board told her the salary would be $158,200, plus a house, car, and other benefits. One accomplishment used to justify her raise was the laptop program. One might consider that program innovative, but it has generated much controversy, proven costly to students and taxpayers, and has yet to prove itself. She apparently does well at fund raising but I would think that too is a requirement of her job. Now my logic says President Bailey was simply doing the job she was hired for, at an agreed-upon salary. 

Secondly, Mr. Leadbetter points out the president of MTU is being compensated at $199,000 per year, and the President of NMU should be on par. He apparently feels the two schools are comparable. However, MTU has consistently been ranked as one of the finest small schools in the Nation. Even though I am a NMU graduate and proud of it, I recognize the difference. But even saying that, in all fairness one cannot pick out a single school out of all the many Michigan institutions, big and small and say if they do it, we will do it. 

Mr. Leadbetter also says we can all snivel about the marketplace being out of balance. The problem with this is NMU is not in a free marketplace. NMU is tax supported, and therefore, every Michigan taxpayer and NMU student has the right to question this very large raise. The insult to injury is that this enormous raise has and will continue to cause problems in negotiating future wages and salaries with NMU faculty and staff, probably costing us taxpayers many times more than $42,000 per year. 

I assume President Bailey was not threatening to leave NMU if she didn't get a $42,000 annual raise, having been here such a short time. If she did threaten to leave, I'd say let her go and get someone who will do the job at the meager $158,200 salary plus benefits. How then did the Board justify a $42,000 raise? Beats me! The word rationalization comes to mind rather than logic.

Sincerely yours,
Return to Joe's Woodshed