||Congress of the United States
Washington, DC 20515
December 6, 2000
The Honorable Argeo Paul Cellucci
We write to express our hope that you will intervene to help end the impasse between the Massachusetts State College Association and the Board of Higher Education. We believe that Massachusetts State College faculty members deserve a significant pay increase, because of the quality and the importance of the work they do. We are proud of the excellent work that the state colleges in our districts do to prepare our students both intellectually and professionally, and we believe as you do that having these institutions function at the highest possible level is very important to maintaining the quality of economic and cultural life in Massachusetts.
Given this, we believe that the case for salary increases is a strong one. Opportunities for the people who teach in our state colleges have grown in many areas, and a failure to increase salaries significantly leaves us open to the likelihood that we will lose many of our best faculty members, both to other universities in the private area which pay more, and to the private sector in non-educational fields. And of course there is also the loss of faculty members to other states which pay higher, to be taken into account,
We realize that this is a matter of the state and not the federal budget. But we work continuously in Congress to increase funding assistance for the state in various ways, and we believe that by helping to contribute to overall state revenue for many important purposes, we are indirectly helping the state find the funds to compensate our state college faculty in a more nearly adequate fashion.
We note your assurance to the people of the Commonwealth that the current revenue situation in Massachusetts is such that we are well able to afford to meet fully our public responsibilities, even in the wake of the referendum reducing taxation. In our view, significant salary increases for the state college faculty are an important part of that public responsibility and we hope that you will be able to act accordingly.
Thank you very much for your recent letter to Gov. Paul Cellucci. Since coming to Massachusetts to teach full-time, I have been stunned at the lack of respect afforded to state college faculty and - by extention - students. My understanding is that this disregard has a long history through gubernatorial administrations of both parties.
As you wrote in your letter, this is not precisely a federal issue, but it is important to all of your constituents, and we in the state colleges are very glad to have your support.
I have been so distressed by this situation that I have created my own independent web site to advise the public about it. I invite you (as I have invited the governor and members of the Board of Higher Education) to view this site at http://webhost.bridgew.edu/jhayesboh/msca.htm.
Thank you once again, and have a joyous holiday.