Reaching an agreement that satisfied some but not all, professors at Long Island University's Brooklyn campus who were on strike for six days have returned to work. Faculty members accepted a deal that offers a six and a half percent raise over five years, an improvement over the administration’s initial offer of a wage freeze for three years. 70 percent of the faculty supported the contract.
While the administration said they were trying to be fiscally responsible during a harsh economic climate, citing declining enrollment, the professors believe, rightfully so, that LIU pours way too much money into superficial capital projects, like a new wellness center, graduate dorms, and a stadium. LIU is not alone in its love for ornamental and highly expensive projects that amount to little more than trinkets when compared to a university’s original and oft-forgotten mission, education.
My alma mater SUNY Stony Brook is dumping plenty of funds into a student recreation center that has been perpetually under construction while slashing courses and raising tuition. Rutgers University has infamously supersized its football stadium and paid its coach (employed by the taxpayers of New Jersey) over two million dollars annually while students face mounting tuition bills and the state itself lives in fiscal hell. The Scarlet Knights also don’t win all that much, anymore.
Maybe next time the students should go on strike too.