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Professors have to teach? The horror!

To the editor:

It made me angry as I read your June 12 article “UNLV caught in pay plight.” I am a graduate student at UNLV who, like many others, will pay 11 percent more in tuition because the school’s professor and administrator payroll increased 8 percent last year.

As a teacher in the Clark County School District, I was amazed and surprised to hear that some full-time faculty might actually be forced to teach. Call it sour grapes, or whatever you’d like, but I believe anyone who makes a six-figure salary in education should actually be working — and teaching. As I looked over your list of faculty salaries, I didn’t see the names of any of those wonderful instructors who had taught me during my undergraduate and post-graduate education.

The article states that “of the university’s 828 professors who taught at all, more than 30 percent handled fewer than three courses,” and that “about 130 professors didn’t teach at all during the fall semester.” I am definitely in the wrong profession.

Here’s a shout out to the Board of Regents and Terry Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education: If you have to “pay the going rate to get the best people,” as Mr. Hartle said, then shouldn’t they actually be working? It was a no-brainer when UNLV President David Ashley said “tenure-tracked faculty would have to increase their workload.”

I really hope the Board of Regents will take greater care in awarding pay increases, and that Gov. Jim Gibbons will look closely to where education should really be cut.

Vicki VanBeveren

LAS VEGAS

We’re taxpayers, too

To the editor:

In response to your Sunday editorial, “Special session,” where you quote state Sen. Bob Beers as saying: “Some will line up in defense of ongoing government growth during this economic downturn. Others, like me, will line up in defense of those who fund government … the hardworking families who pay the bills.”

I would offer you the novel idea that state and university employees and public school teachers are a part of the hardworking, taxpaying group that funds government.

We still have bills to pay as well. I would hope you would not pit us against the private sector, as we all are feeling the pinch of high prices and cost of living increases.

Joe Bynum

LAS VEGAS

Spare the pay raises

To the editor:

I am in total shock. Didn’t I just read that this year’s 4 percent cost-of-living pay raises for state employees would not be on the table even if a special session of the Legislature were called? Where’s the integrity (“Governor aims to fix shortfall,” Saturday Review-Journal)?

Do lawmakers and Gov. Jim Gibbons realize that they are deeply hurting state employees with incomes in the lower brackets, not to mention the poor schoolteachers who are already underpaid?

I work at the university, and parking fees are going up every year by 10 percent, so next year I’ll be taking home less than this year, not to mention the skyrocketing cost of living.

Will Clark County employees continue to receive their huge longevity checks, compared with our couple of hundred dollars worth?

Many of us are “topped out,” and we depend on the small yearly COLA we receive. There’s got to be a better way to fix the state’s budget problems.

I am thoroughly confused, disappointed, angry and sad.

M. Brown

LAS VEGAS

Lost opportunity

To the editor:

There is something that I think the taxpayers in Nevada have a right to know. Just how did the state get into this mess with the budget?

Just a few years ago, we had a state budget surplus. Then-Gov. Kenny Guinn decided it was only right to return the excess to taxpayers as a refund. I thought this was a dumb idea then. It should have been put into the state’s “rainy day” fund.

If it had been, wouldn’t this be of help now?

That rebate was akin to the “stimulus” checks rebated by the federal government this year. How much did this stimulate anything, and what has it done to the national debt that will be passed down to our children and grandchildren to pay?

With what I am hearing from the government these days on all levels, I wonder if there is anyone left who has good, old-fashioned common sense. I am absolutely aghast at the state of our local, state and national governments.

Is there any way to go back to basics and solve any of our problems? I fear not.

Mary Morski

HENDERSON

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