Poor Housing for Jazz Professors

To the Editors:

I was quite surprised to read the letter in your last Perspectives section by Professor Peek that suggested Nancy Dye’s $1 million bonus was not enough. Professor Peek rationalizes that she should have gotten a “more competitive” offer as compared to other college presidents. Well, I say it’s completely ridiculous to keep Nancy Dye’s salary competitive while everything else at this college no longer stays competitive due to lack of funding!! Our programs and administration might become substandard without the necessary funds, but at least Nancy is not suffering, her wages will still be competitive. While she’s kicking up her heels and securing her financial future, the rest of the college is going to hell. For example, two of my instructors as a jazz studies major are Professor Gary Bartz, Jazz Saxophone and Professor Billy Hart, Jazz Drums. These are two of the greatest jazz musicians in the world, without question. They fly into town on a regular basis to teach lessons because they are still active in the today’s jazz scene. The house that the College/Conservatory has provided for them has no heat, no bathtub, and no television. When Mr. Bartz stays there he does not have a standard bed to sleep on. He must use a pull-out sofa bed. This is worse than the average dorm room!! If these sort of conditions continue, I don’t see why these professors would continue to teach here, when, first of all, they are taking time out of their active careers as musicians and second of all, they could teach at a much more conveniently located school, such as the various renowned jazz institutions in NYC. I say Nancy Dye should decline to accept her bonus until the school’s financial state improves and my professors at least have decent living conditions. If she doesn’t, she should at least let my professors stay in one of her lavish guest rooms at her house.

–John Churchman
Double-Degree sophomore

October 4
October 11

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