The rich get richer at Arizona and Arizona State, according to Robby Soave and Mark Flatten:
Files obtained under Arizona’s public records law revealed numerous raises of $50,000 or more over the last three years.
Among ASU employees who were already making $150,000, one in three has received a pay raise since 2007, university records show. …
For Dr. Matthew Ladner, vice president of research at the Goldwater Institute, administrative bloat is a symptom of the inability of Arizona’s public universities to control their spending—and at a time when many private citizens are making do with less. He said the universities have continued to spend well beyond their means in spite of the recession, which wiped out a third of the state’s revenue, according to state fiscal data.
“The universities have largely been shielded from the effects of the downturn, and they are spending more now than they’ve ever spent,” Ladner said.
Ladner stressed that university employees who accepted raises hadn’t done anything wrong, and they may have been deserved. But he questioned whether such policies should continue in light of the cost to Arizona’s private sector, which has lost 300,000 jobs since 2007. The universities’ priorities, he argued, don’t reflect the reality of an Arizona with a greatly diminished workforce and yearly budget deficits in the billions of dollars.
“They’re handing out a great deal of taxpayer money,” Ladner said. “Right now, this is taxpayer money we can’t afford to keep paying.”
The universities have increased the number of employees making at least $150,000 in each of the last three years, and employees within this group continue to see significant raises related to promotions and retentions, according to records obtained by the Goldwater Institute.