I am concerned about the misinformation regarding part-time faculty pay that was reported in the Vanguard [“Part-time Faculty File for Mediation,” Jan. 30]. Margi McCue is misquoted as saying, “the average part-time staff member makes about $34,000 in a 9-month school year.”
Underpaying faculty not sustainable
I am concerned about the misinformation regarding part-time faculty pay that was reported in the Vanguard [“Part-time Faculty File for Mediation,” Jan. 30]. Margi McCue is misquoted as saying, “the average part-time staff member makes about $34,000 in a 9-month school year.” In fact, at the current standard rate of pay–$676 per credit hour–the average adjunct teaching up to 20 hours (and not allowed to go over 22, which would make them eligible for benefits) can only earn about $13,520 per year. Clearly not even approaching a living wage. The increases sought by the union would bring the annual salary for the average part-time faculty member just slightly over $16,000 by 2009, barely keeping pace with inflation and the cost of living in Portland. It is ironic that while PSU talks about sustainability, its practice of relying on under-paid, part-time faculty to expand and enrich the curriculum is clearly not sustainable for either the university or the community it seeks to serve.
KPSU just ain’t the same
When I first got to PSU, my interest in radio was the result of being both a DJ and a fan of the medium for years. I was attracted to KPSU because it had a large number of community members. I felt that I would have a connection to the station that I wouldn’t get elsewhere. Not only was the station supportive and interested in letting me be involved as a student and a community member, but the nature of what KPSU did at the time helped me straddle those two identities comfortably. When I was hired, I felt that I was finally part of a community that understood me completely.
Things have drastically changed since then. Layers of bureaucracy, poor hiring decisions and a narrow-vision of what the station could become have ruined what was once my all-time favorite job, ever. People are no longer supportive of the community involvement. PSU’s motto is, “Let Knowledge Serve The City,” and by default, its resources need to do that, too. Radio does that by broadcasting to the city as a whole, and not just the PSU Campus.
To create an environment where community members are treated so shabbily does not reflect well on the station, or the school. It merely reinforces the reasons that I left the station last year, and tells other students what they can expect when they reach alumni status. I now find it more and more difficult to tune into the few shows left that bring a smile to my face. And as those community members quit or are forced out one at a time, it strengthens a suspected notion that the real goal of the station is no longer to enable people to have an experience in radio that is positive and fun for people of all ages, but is instead a chance for a select few to dictate what is and isn’t cool for their few friends who all podcast the fewer and fewer shows they rapidly stop producing.
Austin RichFormer KPSU Programming Director
The thrill is back
As a PSU alumnus, I enjoy reading the Vanguard online to keep up with current events at my old school. From what I have been reading here it appears that PSU students are as interested and involved in the 2008 elections as young people are all over America. This is a great development from what seemed like too many years of it being “cool” to act uninterested and detached. Today’s excitement brings me back to the sunny spring day in 1968 when my girlfriend and I waited for over an hour to get into the PSU gym to hear Bob Kennedy address students. He electrified us in a way I have not seen young people experience since. Unfortunately, a week after his PSU appearance, Bobby was shot dead in Los Angeles, and Nixon was elected president later that year. It destroyed the enthusiasm and hope for the political future we young people had in that all-too-short 1968 spring. Watching the election fervor today for Barack Obama, and to a lesser extent among young people, for Hillary Clinton, gives me heart that perhaps the thrill is back.
Answers for campus safety
Getting Campus Public Safety officers better training and equipment should have happened a long time ago, however, your story misses several key pieces [“Virginia Tech forces closer look at campus safety,” Jan. 30]. Currently, CPSO officers are trained and licensed under ORS 352.385. This statute and its adjoining statutes already allow for CPSO officers to be equipped with tasers, including the X26 model used by most major police departments. This law specifically forbids CPSO officers to carry firearms. This is why in order to arm these officers they would have to be reclassified as police officers. In theory, they could also be reclassified as private security under Oregon’s DPSST statutes. However, that creates different issues with powers of arrest and such. Many legal scholars expect Shirley Katz to win her appeal in the Katz V. Medford case (The case where a high school teacher wants her gun rights to be valid at school). This would then create a situation where students can carry firearms and CPSO officers can’t, that dichotomy would make no sense at all. (Although legal concealed handgun license holders are widely viewed as an asset, not a liability.) The obvious answer is to get CPSO trained and equipped properly or simply turn over their duties to a contract with a local police department.
Michael F. DeVietro
SFC is accessible
In response to your latest article regarding the SFC [“SFC member says chair asked him to skip meeting,” Jan. 29], I am greatly unimpressed with the reporting. I find it very unprofessional to cite negative comments that I supposedly said without seeking out my opinion and response.
The article states that the “OSA will be able to appeal the decision at the SFC appeal hearing on Feb. 19.” ASPSU does not have an appeal. The OSA is a contracted service through ASPSU, and while I greatly admire and appreciate all the work that OSA does for students, as an SFC member I recognize that it is ASPSU’s decision how to include this in their budget. For clarity’s sake, it is not OSA which requests a budget or can appeal a SFC decision, as has been continually stated in Vanguard articles; it is ASPSU’s budget with which we are dealing.
Another part of the recent article that I found interesting was the referencing of voting records from SFC meetings minutes, since no minutes for Hearings and Deliberations will be approved by the Committee until Feb. 6 and are therefore not official, nor available to the public. Of course, it is not a surprise that the Vanguard must rely on unofficial minutes to do their “reporting” since no writer has thought it necessary to actually attend one SFC meeting, despite the fact that we continue to make front page “news.” It is a problem when writers call the SFC late the night before their deadline to question how the SFC process works, how many people are on the committee, ask if the SFC votes on issues and then asks what decisions were made after admitting to never having attended a meeting.
The SFC has made every effort to make our process transparent and available to the public. The Vanguard has all the tools to accurately report on the issues related to this campus; there is no need to keep on sensationalizing hearsay.
Karin ZimmerSFC member