Gov. Rick Scott added higher education salaries to a website he set up to detail contracts, employee pay and other state spending.
Check out the payroll for Florida’s 11 public universities here.
The data was already posted online, which has university professionals wondering if Scott is trying to turn public opinion against academia. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune quotes Tom Auxter, president of the 5,000-member union representing university employees:
“This is hanging people out to roast,” said Tom Auxter, president of the 5,000-member union that represents university faculty. “The governor is just trying to target faculty and make them uncomfortable.”
Auxter said the data is misleading because it does not give people an understanding of faculty responsibilities. Many professors take on administrative duties and have other responsibilities that could lead to larger salaries, said Auxter, a philosophy professor at the University of Florida.
Scott has spent the summer and fall pushing ideas he believes will make the state university system more efficient. That includes asking colleges and universities to “drive” more students into degrees in science, technology, engineering and math.
Scott has also circulated a controversial Texas proposal which attempts to quantify university performance. Critics say that plan is too simplistic and would hinder research universities’ ability to seek new discoveries.
Scott’s spokesman provided a terse answer for his motivations.
“These are tax dollars and Floridians have a right to know where those tax dollars are being spent,” spokeswoman Jackie Schutz told the Herald-Tribune.
What do you think? Why did Scott post the salaries? What do you think about what college employees are paid?