Our opinion: Add diversity of opinions to ‘Gang of Three’

If you haven’t heard by now (news, pg. 3), a group of three has come together to micromanage financial requests from student groups, individual programs, etc. 

While it’s certainly a good idea to tighten the belts around here (see the cover), it might have behooved those that founded the group to think a little more about the membership of it.

The three deciders are LeBlanc, someone whose job is to be aware of the long-term plans of the university; Joseph Natoli, the senior VP of the Division of Business and Finance; and Dean Pascal Goldschmidt, the senior VP of Medical Affairs.

We need to ask questions like, why are there only three members, and more importantly, why have we chosen these three to essentially save us money?

Natoli is clearly a logical and well-qualified choice for the board. LeBlanc is the “big-picture” guy, so it makes sense for him to make sure that there’s enough money to paint that portrait down the road. But why is Dean Goldschmidt there? Let us rephrase. Why is only Dean Goldschmidt there?

A dean representative is a great way to include academics in the discussion of financial matters which will impact their teaching and research. But isn’t it a little unfair that only Goldschmidt gets a say? What do we propose? A fourth member, with the position rotating among the other deans of the university. We know that UM’s medical program is the cash cow, but let’s level the playing field.

And what of the students themselves? The money is ultimately spent on the well-being of students at UM, but these decisions are made far away from their purview. While we’re adding a member, let’s add two. A non-voting student representative would consult the board and add the students’ perspective to the spending.

The relationship between administrators and students, like any relationship, takes time to build. Trust must be equally traded in order to gain results, in this case, proper monetary allocation.

The students want a voice and every aspect of the university should incorporate that voice.

February 1, 2009


Editorial Board

The Miami Hurricane

3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Our opinion: Add diversity of opinions to ‘Gang of Three’”

  1. Medical says:

    You writing checks to the University doesn’t entitle you to squat!

    You’re paying for an education, that is what you get for your money, at the end you’ll get a big piece of paper that says, hey, I went to UM. Sorry to break it to you, but this isn’t a democracy, it’s a business. Just because you goto school here, or I work here doesn’t mean either of us are special. Get used to it, that’s how life works!

    As for the wasteful spending, I agree with you. That is why these new policies are in effect, to stop that.

  2. K says:

    If students should have no say, then we will just stop paying for your salary then! I mean, we already pay for your snacks to be stocked, your supply closet to overflow with unused materials, and your every whim while the faculty and administration frolics and the students are told to be good little girls and boys and keep our mouths shut. This is crap. I was a student assistant and I know how much money this school wastes on frivolous spending for the faculty and administration.

    Second of all, education is a service. We pay you, you supply with the education…end of story. Therefore since it is mostly OUR money, WE as STUDENTS should be able to decide HOW OUR MONEY GETS SPENT! Keep talking about students like that and you will have no more University paycheck. Don’t underestimate the students.

  3. Medical says:

    Dean Goldschmidt is the senior VP of Medical Affairs, which is essentially the “Donna Shalala” of the Medical facilities. His reach includes the med school, UMHC, UMH, Sylvester Cancer Center, Bascom Palmer, and all the outlying clinics as far north as Boca, and south to Key West.

    There is approximately 10,000 undergraduate students and maybe 4, grad students at UM, but hundreds of thousands of patients. I would honestly say the entire University’s #1 priority is patients, and #2 students.

    If the Budget is in shambles, and we are hemorrhaging money for an extended period of time these are the 1st few people that lose their jobs, students should have no say..

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.