UMN Students Speak Out on Gabel’s Pay Raise – The Minnesota Daily

The Student Association of Minnesota released a statement opposing the salary increase, which will amount to more than $1.1 million by 2026.

On December 17, the University of Minnesota’s board of trustees voted to raise President Joan Gabel’s salary, prompting backlash from students across the university.

According to the new contract formed by the Board of Regents, Gabel will earn more than $1.1 million in pay raises, bonuses and additional retirement funds by the end of his employment. The Minnesota Student Association (MSA) released a statement Dec. 16, saying it would advocate for higher student salaries and oppose President Gabel’s salary increase.

Gurtaran Johal, a fourth-year student and student representative for the MSA Board of Regents, said in an email to the Minnesota Daily that “student leaders have been advocating for changes to student salaries for more than half a decade. Yet student salaries continue to remain at just $10.33.

First-year student Aubrey Strittmater works at Centennial Hall’s front desk. As a hardworking student, she says she earns $10.25 an hour.

“As a freshman in college, I feel like there aren’t many jobs I can get,” Strittmater said. “I have a job because I’m afraid of being in debt.”

There have been efforts to raise the minimum wage for students in the past, including a 2018 effort to raise it to $15 an hour.

“We need to look for action rather than empty promises that get no response,” Johal said. “We have to put pressure on the board [of Regents] to understand the student experience and the growing financial strains many face.

The board raised Gabel’s salaries to match the average salaries of other Big Ten university presidents, according to meeting notes.

In September 2020, the University of Minnesota eliminated three athletic programs: men’s tennis, men’s gymnastics, and men’s indoor/outdoor track and field.

Samiat Ajibola, a fourth-year student and MSA vice-president, said it was frustrating to see the University enter into the new contract with the president, as it signals a lack of support for student issues, such as the sport funding or mental health resource funding.

“Students are a big, if not the biggest, stakeholder at this university,” sophomore Flora Yang said in an email to the Minnesota Daily. “I really think the quality of life for our students should be the top priority, and that’s what we should be focusing on right now.”

Yang said some students found Gabel’s salary a problem because the University was only considering a raise for the president, not faculty, staff or students.

No other University of Minnesota president made more than $1 million by the end of his career, making Gabel the first in University history, according to the University chapter of the release. release of the American Association of University Professors.

The question now, according to Yang and other MSA members, is where the money for Gabel’s raise is coming from – there is currently no confirmed answer to this question.

“I pay all this money to be here and go to school, I work for them,” Strittmater said. “The least they can do is help me with my debt.”

William M. Mayer