Many students at the College have been confused by news of President R. Barbara Gitenstein’s salary raise in the wake of recent budget cuts.
The newest figure is $220,000 annually, which is an increase more than 10 percent from last year.
Gitenstein declined to comment because the decision to raise her salary came from the Board of Trustees after careful observation of her performance at the College.
Pat Rado, chair of the Board of Trustees, said Gitenstein’s raise was based on her leadership in working with the state and other colleagues concerning the proposed budget and other economic situations in the past several years, Rado said. Gitenstein has contributed very positively to the College community.
Gitenstein’s salary is less than the earnings of other College presidents in the area. For example, according to Steve Manas of the Rutgers Media Relations, Rutgers University President Richard L. McCormick earns $525,000 annually. This is a rise of about $300,000 from the previous president and more than double what Gitenstein earns.
Former Rider University President J. Barton Luedeke earned less than Gitenstein. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the most recent statistics from 2000-2001 indicate his salary was $216,667.
Although budgets are handled differently at Rider University because it is a private school, this figure almost equals Gitenstein’s pay.
The current president of Rider, Mordechai Rozanski, has a salary that is unknown, because the information is not available to the public at this time.
Faculty members at Rider could not be reached for comment.
Some students complain that Gitenstein’s salary increase was signed by the Board of Trustees in early July.
The original budget proposed by Gov. James E. McGreevey instituted a cut of 12 percent for public colleges and universities in New Jersey.
Other cuts affected the Outstanding Scholars Recruitment Program, which provides funds to top students if
they attend school in state, as well as other grant programs.
As a result, the College reduced funding for some academic programs. None of these limitations included cuts to safety and welfare costs for students and faculty.
Knowledge of these budget battles caused many students to question the benefits of the president’s salary raise.
“I think the school should investigate the funds that they have to make sure that they’re being put to good use,” Jessica Gill, sophomore English major, said.
McGreevey altered the budget on July 1, restoring some funding to the College.
After the revision of the budget was put into place, the Board of Trustees met to determine monetary changes, settling on several slight increases in tuition, and room and board for students, according to a news bulletin posted on the College’s Web site on July 7.
Despite this relief after the difficult budget season, tuition and other costs increased to accommodate all programs and amenities provided by the College.
“I personally like (Gitenstein),” Diane Yee, junior management major, said. “But at this time it’s not like we have extra money to be giving anyone a raise. She should take one for the team and allocate the money where it’s needed more.”
On the other hand, however, Rado said the figures have not risen extensively for next year’s tuition.
“(Gitenstein’s leadership) allowed us to hold tuition and fee increases below what they otherwise would have been,” Rado said.
Additional information from tcnj.edu