Petition to increase SU executives' pay reduction percentage to 60-75%
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As a graduating Senior (Class of 2020) at Syracuse University, I was recently informed about the University's course of action with regard to dealing with the financial impact of Covid-19, the pandemic that has left millions of Americans unemployed and relying on unemployment insurance to pay for basic necessities during this time (myself included). While it is understandable that given the exorbitant costs of tuition to attend Syracuse University, the top University executives are compensated accordingly, with at least 10 executives earning $500,000+ per year (https://www.syracuse.com/news/g66l-2019/05/5dd0a78016296/who-made-the-most-money-at-syracuse-university-in-2017.html) However, given the recent effects of Covid-19 and the devastating financial impact it has had on the country's most vulnerable (the minimum wage service sector), it is inconceivable that the University's highest paid employees: the Chancellor, Kent Syverud, the Vice Chancellor and Provost, John Liu, and the SVP and CFO, Amir Rahnamay-Azar, are taking a mere 10% pay reduction in their annual salaries for 2021 in their pitiful attempt at a solution to this financial desolation. Given that the Chancellor's reported salary in 2017 was almost $1,000,000 for that year alone, a 10% pay decrease in the top three executives' salaries is the bare minimum within a solution that is also reducing the budgets of all University schools by 5%, further deteriorating an already blemished quality of education this school year that has been forced to transfer the remainder of the semester to online learning. A school year that has already been wrought with racial violence historically rooted in the perpetuation of racial bias and discrimination by the University, student and faculty protests of the very executives in question, and now, a sudden halt to in-person learning and the social benefits and well-being that come with being a student on a college campus. Therefore, it remains beyond my comprehension that a University that has failed to deliver on so much of its promises to the University community this year can continue to deliver such ludicrous solutions to such a devastating issue. Because of this injustice, I am petitioning for the top three executives named in the University-wide email (Syverud, Liu, and Rahnamay-Azar) to increase pay reduction to a 60-75% reduction in their annual salary for the year of 2021, rather than the inconsequential 10% pay reduction that they have agreed to and communicated, especially given that students paying upward of $72,000 per year in tuition fees have not been reimbursed at all due to the transition to online courses, evacuation of campus, and such the ability to access the University resources promised to us by our tuition payment (no access to the libraries, gyms, clubs and organizations, and campus-wide events). While those making minimum wage have been reduced to collecting weekly unemployment just to survive (many within the University community), it remains an injustice that the highest-earning executives of Syracuse University are only taking a 10% pay reduction in their already-exorbitant salaries and will continue to reap a majority of their financial benefits despite the enormous financial loss faced by a large portion of their "community members".
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