Aubertine balks at top SUNY administrator raises in wake of rank-and-file furloughs
Thursday, September 16, 2010 - 5:17 pm

State Sen. Darrel Aubertine says he is concerned about reports of raises of more than 10 percent for high-level State University of New York administrators in Albany at a time when rank-and-file SUNY employees are taking furloughs to keep costs down.

“Raises at this time, especially of this magnitude, for top administrators who are already well compensated by the SUNY system, show a lack of understanding of the financial strain this state and our SUNY system are under,” Aubertine said.

The Albany Times Union is reporting that three top officers of the State University of New York's central administration have received $30,000 pay raises and other benefits. The raises are between 10.5 and 13.6 percent, and two leaders received monthly housing bonuses of $3,250 and $5,000, respectively, the newspaper reported. These raises bring the annual pay for these administrators to $275,937 plus $39,000 for housing, $315,000 plus $60,000 for housing, and $250,000, the newspaper reported.

The raises come as the chancellor is heralding $3.5 million in cost savings and “future cost avoidance,” according to the board's resolutions, by “designing a leadership structure that responds to budget challenges facing” SUNY, while also starting a multimillion-dollar renovation program to fix up the fourth floor of SUNY headquarters for SUNY executives, the newspaper reported.

“These raises and remodeling projects send a bad message,” Aubertine said.

Aubertine, a Democrat from Cape Vincent, is running for re-election in the Senate’s 48th District, opposed in the coming election by St. Lawrence County Clerk Patricia Ritchie, a Republican from Heuvelton.