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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

December 7, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

Letter to the Editor: “I am grateful for my adjunct salary”

I love Ithaca College. I have been teaching here for seven years, currently three one-credit social dance classes in HSHP. I received my IC Masters Degree in Music in 1982. I love my professors, and I am grateful to them every day I walk onto campus: not just for what they taught, not just for their teaching methods, but for their spirit. Several taught at IC when it was just one building in the early 1960s — Boardman House — in downtown Ithaca. Some of my profs have passed on, and I often get emotional while considering that I follow in their footsteps.

I am grateful to the presidents and trustees who have gone before. Ithaca College started out as four rented rooms in a house in downtown Ithaca! It grew solely through the vision, planning and tireless work of the presidents and trustees: the heart and mind of the college. Trustees are not paid, receive no benefits, are not even reimbursed for travel for their three annual meetings at IC. Over the decades, the trustee personal dollar contribution to IC for its capital projects, is in the many millions. So should IC treat them like royalty, to one fancy cocktail hour and dinner three times a year? Even though you eat at the Dining Hall, when your mother — who gave you your nice car — visits campus, do you take her out? To Sammy’s, or to Madeline’s?

I am grateful for my adjunct salary — 140% of the national average. My hourly rate works out to $60 an hour: is that a poverty wage? And it is ABOVE the SEIU final negotiated adjunct raises at the College of St. Rose in Spring 2016, after 16 months of negotiations. (SEIU200 website). So am I grateful to IC? You bet.

Kurt Lichtmann

IC M.M.Ed. ’82

HSHP PALS Lecturer