Sunday, December 20, 2009

UNM has $4.5M worth of VPs. Are we getting our money's worth?

The Journal has a lengthy exposé on UNM's many Vice Presidents and their salaries, link.

Readers are left, as they always are when they read reports such as these, thinking, wow, that's a lot of VPs, or wow, that's a lot of money. But, compared to what?

The real questions are;

  • do we, taxpayers, need this many VPs, and
  • do we need to pay them this much?
Those questions never get answered. UNM President David Schmidly is apparently ready to admit that he has hired too many VPs, but only in the context of the current budget crunch.

Before the crunch, he (apparently) thought he needed between 19 and 25 VPs (depending on how you count them).

If you want to ask two questions;
  1. Do we need this particular Vice President, and
  2. do we need to pay them this much?
you will be hard pressed to find an objective answer. If you ask the person who hired them, the answer to both questions is of course, yes.

But if you dig a little deeper, you find in many cases that the justification for the salary, and maybe even for the job is, everyone else has one and, everyone else pays that much, specious arguments, both.

Taxpayers find themselves being whipsawn between salaries here and salaries there. Everytime APS hires a new superintendent we play the same game. We have to pay what Tucson pays, plus a little more to sweeten the deal, then Tucson has to pay what Albuquerque pays, plus a little more, until superintendents are being paid more than a quarter of a million dollars a year with no more justification than, "everybody else is doing it".

Who knows what we might find if we hired an impartial person to look at a job, the amount and complexity of the work, the skill set required, and determine what we should actually have to pay to hire someone for the job.

Nor will you ever.

Schmidly is not going to hire someone to critically examine his hiring of VPs, nor are the regents.

It's just not the way they roll.

photo Mark Bralley


Anonymous said...

I saw the names of the major VPs in the paper today.
2 years ago, I ran a serious admissions problem w/ a particular employee, and eventually ended up with one of those VPs. She was totally useless. All she would do is blindly side with her employees.
In this case, the employee was saying to the VP that he had fixed an error and completed my admission, but in reality, he retaliated against me by wiping my admission application out of the system.
All she would commit to is: "He's a good employee and has been here for years....".
It would be another year before I would be admitted, by going around him, and having someone else process my admission.

Anonymous said...

Useless at best, incompetent as a rule. There are exceptions, but they are few. Why are some VPs listed repeatedly and others slip beneath the radar? Let's see the ENTIRE LIST!