WCC has a line item in its expense budget called “Executive Management.” This fiscal year, the Executive Management budget started out at $2,140,537. This figure had risen to $2,198,367. That’s an increase of nearly $58,000 over the course of the fiscal year. And this is the same fiscal year in which the College estimated that it would lose more than a half-million dollars in revenue. It is the same fiscal year in which WCC terminated (and bought out) its entire IT staff under the guise of “saving money.” It is the same fiscal year in which the College laid off dozens of other employees as its enrollment cratered during the onset of the pandemic.
Looking at the rest of the WCC budget puts the Executive Management line item in perspective. For example, WCC budgets money for its executives than it budgets for:
- Utilities ($2,089,700)
- Community Services ($1,966,125)
- Scholarships ($1,918,598)
- Distance Learning ($1,841,011)
- Equipment ($1,771,132)
- Repair and Maintenance ($750,000)
- Continuing Education ($721,340)
The approved budget for FY2021 includes a reduction in the Deferred Maintenance budget of $1M. The significance of that cut means that WCC will spend more on executives than on Deferred Maintenance next year.
To be clear, the Board places a higher priority on Executive Management than on keeping the campus buildings in good repair. They cut the Maintenance budget to preserve the executive management structure. They approved reductions-in-force to terminate employees with decades of service in order to avoid cutting executives.
This Board is not executing their fiduciary responsibilities to the Washtenaw County taxpayers.
And it must stop. The Board must start enforcing restraint on spending, and it must start limiting executive compensation. In our current circumstances, that is fiduciary responsibility.
Photo Credit: Austin Kirk , via Flickr