Rutgers faculty decry spending on athletics

BY PATRICIA ALEX
STAFF WRITER
The Record

The faculty union at Rutgers University is crying foul after a report this week that the school’s athletic department got $27 million in annual subsidies while pay for professors and staff was frozen and student fees were hiked.

Rutgers’ drive to build a big-time football program has soaked up considerable resources over the past decade.
Rutgers’ drive to build a big-time football program has soaked up considerable resources over the past decade.

“It’s time to restore a balance to what we do at Rutgers,” said Adrienne Eaton, the faculty union president said in a statement issued Friday. “Classrooms and research first, athletics second … in that order.”

The state university spent more money on athletics than any other public institution in the six biggest football conferences during the 2009-10 fiscal year, according to the report by Bloomberg News, which appeared in The Record on Wednesday. More than 40 percent of sports revenue came from student fees and the university’s general fund, the report found.

The subsidies came as tuition and fees increased – Rutgers is one of the most expensive public universities in the nation – and state support for the university was slashed. The drop in state funding has had an impact university-wide, resulting in cuts to academic programs and staff.

“If the McCormick administration can find $27 million each year to subsidize athletics, then it can surely find smaller amounts of money in its $2 billion budget to respect its employee agreements and maintain the quality of our instruction and research,” said Eaton, the head of Rutgers AAUP-AFT, referring to the university President, Richard McCormick.

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