✔ ✔ Fact Checker here. Fearful of the day's developments at the Board of Trustee meeting.
✔ ✔ ✔ KUNSHAN
My fellow Dukies, we are entering a sink hole.
Just days after we learned that President Brodhead will ask the Trustees for $1.5 to $2 million to cover SOME of the operating losses in Kunshan, we learn the figure is actually much higher. There's a 20 percent fudge factor -- meaning Brodhead wants authorization to spend up to $2.4 million a year -- with the option of going back to the Trustees for even more.
Make no mistake: this is money going straight from the Durham campus to Kunshan. Money that would otherwise be available to be spent here in a very tight budget year. History department, economics department, AAAS, are you listening?
The $1.5 million, $2 million, $2.4 million -- whatever number you take -- is only the start of our losses. We have papered over millions more by contending we can get contributions -- maybe. Be careful to note this is not money given to the Kunshan university, but money donated to Duke in Durham that will be shifted to Kunshan. Millions.
And we plan to take millions and millions more out of the Fuqua business school's Corporate Education division to hide the losses -- and pretended it is not Duke University money at all.
Fellow Dukies -- we will lose $100 million minimum, $150 million probably and possibly more in Kunshan in the next decade. Those are statistics from Board of Trustee briefing papers -- NOT FC estimates.
What a crime, to think they sold us on the Kunshan idea by saying the Chinese city would pick up all the losses.
In the December minutes of the Academic Council, covering an appearance by global VP Jones, and the proposed January minutes where the ebullient Dean Sheppard of Fuqua tried to get permission for yet another international venture, there are very very substantial questions about this project. Unfortunately those questions -- sharp, critical questions from concerned faculty members throughout the university -- are arising at a very late hour, and I fear the Trustees will prove to be the Board of Lemmings and leap to a vote for Kunshan.
✔ ✔ TUITION
The Chronicle article mentions tuition at other schools. Next year, by the time the Trustees get done raising Duke's tuition, (and hiding the current Quad fee) it will cost an undergraduate ten percent more at Duke than at Princeton.
Mr Brodhead should know that while he emphasizes his commitment to financial aid -- it is he and his cohorts thru never ending spirals of tuition hikes far in excess of inflation that make the expanding aid packages necessary.
At the moment, Duke sustains its level of financial aid only by robbing future generations; we are spending 28 percent more than we should -- based upon normal distribution figures -- from endowment aimed at financial aid.
✔ ✔ WAGE FREEZE
The issue before the board is how to apply whatever money is available to break the two year freeze. Do lower paid employees and the highest paid faculty get the same percentage increase?
How much money is spent on lavish fringe benefits, versus given to people in their pay checks?
✔ ✔ ARTS AND SCIENCES
When last we heard there was a real crunch in the budget of Arts and Sciences. We simply have too many professors, and to compound the problem, at least 35 of them were not carried in the A and S budget at all, but in the Provost's slush fund.
With the slush fund shrinking -- and Peter the Provost wanting to move in new directions and not have his funds dedicated year after year --- A and S may get a double whammy.
Let's see what the Trustees come up with. While many other schools (including the aforementioned Princeton) have concluded their budgets now, this is typically a May announcement at Duke.
✔ ✔ FUND-RAISING DRIVE
As Duke stirs toward a HUGE development campaign, there's a 500 pound gorilla in the room. Brodhead is coming up on 64 years of age. We cannot change presidents in mid-stream; that's a given. Is he going to be with us for the length of the campaign: does he want to or does he want to return to teaching? Will he be physically able to carry the burden of a campaign -- starting probably in a year and continuing for five or six more years.
✔ Final note -- Tallman, the trustee briefing papers note that Duke will take 55 percent, Kunshan 45 pct of the losses -- not a 50/50 split. This is only for six years -- leaving the Chinese city the options of refusing to cover any losses and/or starting to charge rent for the buildings. All bets on what the losses will be are then off the table.
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