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Letters for November 16

Letters for November 16

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Letters to the Editor

Regents fail to prioritize A&M faculty and staff

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents in August refused to approve merit increases and one-time bonuses for faculty and staff for the current fiscal year. Yet I note on Page A7 of The Eagle on Saturday that the very same board authorized the expenditure of $35 million to construct a new recreation center on campus, following on the heels of the recent refurbishment and enlargement of the existing Rec facility. 

The faculty and staff who were denied recognition in the form of some small compensation were people who were given mere days in the spring semester to transform their courses into an online format and those who worked tirelessly to conduct the basic administrative business and student-service functions of the university seamlessly in the face of a serious epidemic. Numerous email messages from President Young and Provost Fierke have praised the commitment and resilience of staff and faculty in the face of an emergency situation, qualities that persist.

What priorities are suggested by these decisions of the board? The justification for investing such a considerable sum in the new structure is, to quote The Eagle article, “all recreational facilities are ... more than a 10-minute walk from many academic and housing buildings.” If the concern is with student “health,” as asserted, I think that a 10-minute walk would be a good start.

I simply fail to comprehend why President Young would effusively praise this new building program rather than decline the funding until the board took action to approve a material show of support for the staff and faculty who contribute to the core mission of the university.

Cary Nederman

College Station

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