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

8 October 2000

Governor John Engler
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, Michigan 48909

Dear Governor Engler,

Our newspaper headlines yesterday showed "NMU's Bailey gets $42,000 raise." I feel a 26% raise is irresponsible and a slap in the face of us taxpayers. In my opinion, Northern Michigan University's President Bailey has done little to earn anywhere near this kind of a raise. As justification, all the Board chairman could say was President Bailey instituted mandatory laptops for NMU students. I ask whether it warrants $42,000 more than $158,200 a year, plus a free home, free car, incredible insurance, and a retirement program to knock your socks off, to do that? Ironically, the students lease these computers semester after semester and don't even get to keep them. I felt her leading a "computer delivery parade" to Marquette was unprofessional.

NMU public relations used the bureaucratic terms "market adjustment and merit increase" and "making her salary competitive with her colleagues at peer institutions" as justification. How-ever, downstate universities used for comparison were much larger. Michigan Tech nearby, while smaller, certainly has a better argument for higher executive pay with its very high nation-wide status. I didn't hear of President Bailey threatening to leave because of insufficient wages and benefits.

I have since talked with several friends and all were absolutely incensed by this raise. Our newspaper had a scathing editorial against this raise. We taxpayers depend on elected officials like you to act on our behalf, with prudence and fiscal responsibility. We expect those same qualities in the people you officials appoint. I respectfully hope your next appointments to this Board are individuals with a better sense of fiscal responsibility. You have always been a leader for Michigan in fiscal stewardship but these members have thumbed their fiscal noses at you, common sense, and us taxpayers. 

I want you to know also that I am very unhappy with the Board of Control's decision to offer same-sex insurance to NMU faculty. I object to this policy from a moral standpoint and an apparent lack of fiscal responsibility by the Board as to its financial implications. According to The Mining Journal, "No board member asked questions about or made comment on the contract's contents." Would you not expect questions before implementing a policy with such moral and financial implications? 

Governor Engler, please feel free to contact me at the above address, call me at (906) 226-2624, or email me at (email blocked to prevent bot scanning). I also have a personal website called "Joe's Woodshed" where I vent my spleen on matters big and small. You will find it at www.yoopernet.com/joe.htm.

Sincerely yours,

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