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UMass Lowell Professors Protest Outgoing President’s Salary

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV
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UMass Lowell

LOWELL (CBS) – Adjunct Professors at UMass Lowell are spreading their message with a protest today: They feel the UMass Board of Trustees are operating with a Wall Street frame of mind.

The adjunct professors are now in contract negotiations, and are seizing on frustrations felt by many about recent reports of the salary for outgoing UMass President Jack Wilson’s sabbatical. The Trustees approved a $425,000 sabbatical salary for this year, and then afterward at $261,000 salary for his work teaching and working as a top academic administrator at UMass Lowell.

The average full time professor salary at UMass Lowell is $130,000.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Ben Parker reports

In addition, at a recent meeting the Board of Trustees discussed raising salaries of Chancellors. Students and teachers feel it’s all out of touch with the economic challenges of current times.

Tess George, an adjunct professor in business communication, says, “We’d like taxpayers students and parents to take a look at where the university’s financial priorities are.” She says, “I question the priorities. That’s an exorbitant salary being paid to an ex-president while we have an acting president and adjunct faculty are paid $3,500 per course with no benefits, no security.”

Adjunct professors can make up to $6,000 per class at UMass Lowell.

Alan Rosenthal, a senior electrical engineer, has been following reports about his outgoing President’s salary. “UMass Lowell has faced many budget cuts here and there. The fact he is getting $400,000 a year even though he is not working is a little ridiculous.”

University officials say Wilson will be working during his sabbatical. An expert in higher education found that Wilson’s deal and top administrator salaries are in line with other salary’s nationwide.

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