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Frugality at U of L Doesn't Include Cowen (8/28/12)
It's been ages since there hasn't been an annual tuition increase at the University of Louisville. Why? Because money is tight.
U of L professors have gone most of the last decade with no raises, while every University department has suffered repeated budget cuts – again, because money is tight.
Sounds like it makes unfortunate sense. But if money really is that tight, how then has it been so easy for the University to give $200,000 in "consulting fees" to former Fund for the Arts CEO Allan Cowen to promote collaboration between the school's arts programs and the downtown arts community?
You may remember, Mr. Cowen is the guy who was essentially forced to resign his Fund for the Arts position last year after tales of his dictatorial and adversarial relationships with many arts groups became too public and numerous to ignore.
No one questions his considerable fund-raising skills. But paying a man that much money to cultivate relationships with an arts community that was largely glad to see him go the first time around seems not only extravagant but illogical.
Yes, money is tight. But students and professors who have essentially been told "tough luck" in the face of rising tuition and stagnant salaries have a right to wonder where the University's priorities lie in the face of a strange sweetheart deal like this one.