Thursday, December 10, 2009

UT priorities

The University of Texas at Austin is ending participation in the National Merit Scholarship Program, the largest single campus departure in years from the program, which enjoys considerable prestige in some circles but is controversial in others. The university plans to shift the funds to need-based aid.

Last year, Texas was second only to Harvard University in the number of National Merit Scholars it enrolled (281). Some of the scholarships in the program (and all of those at Harvard) are sponsored by companies and other groups, but 213 of those who enrolled at Texas were sponsored by the university, which in recent years has sponsored more of the scholarships than all but a few other universities. (Last year, the University of Southern California sponsored more, 216 -- most colleges don't even top 50.)


University of Texas football coach Mack Brown will be paid $5 million a year, plus annual increases of $100,000 beginning next season and running through 2016, when his contract ends, the school’s governing board decided today.

The revised contract, recommended by UT President William Powers Jr. and men’s athletic director DeLoss Dodds, means that a one-time $2 million “service payment” in February for staying on the job will become part of his annual compensation package. His pay this season is $5 million — $3 million plus the $2 million service payment — but the previous contract did not provide for continuation of that service payment.

Brown’s guaranteed compensation will be $5.1 million next season, $5.2 million the following season and so forth.

For this season, Brown is also set to earn $250,000 for advancing to the national championship. Winning the national championship would add $450,000 to his bank account.

UT says they eliminated the NMS to focus that aid on need-based scholarships. Fine, put more money into the need-based kitty although I hope the decision isn't just based on who needs the money the most but on a combination of need and merit. And why was it necesssary to do away with *all* NMS instead of just cutting back the number they award?

Yet, not surprisingly, there are plenty of funds to make Mack Brown one of, if not the, highest paid college football coach in the country.

1 comment:

Liesl said...

This doesn't make much sense at all to me. It's kind of hard to call one's institution a "university" when one spends more on playing football than on supporting students in need.

This sort of thing is very typical of large state universities. I can say that for sure since both my parents and a great aunt, as as me, taught at the college level. It's as maddening to the rest of the faculty as it is to you, believe me.