State University system gives us all an education

This is very serious — UMass is “in survival mode,” according to President Marty Meehan, the career hack who is himself struggling to survive on a salary of $602,500 a year.

The problem is COVID-19, according to Lisa Calise, the university’s treasurer, who subsists on $311,995 a year.

With a shortfall of $123 million, ZooMass has instituted a rigorous policy of furloughs of “up to five days,” according to the $215,000-a-year flack for the “world-class” (at least according to its PR) institution.

Up to five days! They wouldn’t give us any names of any of the hacks who have, uh, made the ultimate sacrifice of taking a week off. But they did say that UMass does have certain “bargaining units,” or soon will, after these horrific sacrifices the world-class scholars have been asked to make.

A quick perusal of the payroll indicates possible targets for union organizing.

Let’s start with the Mass. Chancellors Association — that would include three chancellors (making $594,000, $505,000, and $476,000), as well as four associate chancellors, two assistant vice chancellors, 25 associate vice chancellors, two deputy chancellors and 13 chancellor professors.

What local do the hacks with multiple diminutives go in? Each phony-baloney adjective in your title at UMass seems to be worth about 200 large — the executive deputy chancellor provost and dean makes $1.07 million, just under the $1.09 million collected by the chancellor & senior vice president health sciences.

How about the International Brotherhood of Provosts — that would include, at the very least, 11 associate provosts, five assistant provosts and four associate vice provosts.

Let the Teamsters organize the Amalgamated Deans of UMass — 53 deans, 34 assistant deans, 25 associate deans, none of whom should be confused with the 26 heads of department, 52 executive directors, 544 directors, 173 assistant directors, 54 managers and eight editors-in-chief.

In this period of austerity, UMass makes do with only 27 hacks with “vice” in their titles — vice chancellors, presidents or provosts, assisted by four associate vice presidents.

What Thomas Jefferson once said more than 200 years ago of the federal bureaucracy applies equally to the bottom feeders at the top of the bloated UMass payroll: “Vacancies by death are few, by resignation never.”

There’s a hack named Jim Julian — a second-generation career coat holder, picked up on waivers from the State House by the Bulger clan a quarter century ago. He’s still an executive vice president, now up to $401,013 a year. (His brother John is a hack judge, who by comparison seems a bargain at a mere $184,694 a year.)

To say that UMass throws around money like a drunken sailor is an insult to drunken sailors. Just for example, how exactly do you “furlough,” even for up to five days, when somebody retired in 2011 and is still on the payroll?

That would be “president emeritus” Jack Wilson, age 75. Since retiring, he’s never grabbed less than $266,775 a year. The last time I checked Wilson’s kiss in the mail was January, and he was listed as pocketing $311,538 a year.

According to the state comptroller, Wilson is now up to $313,246 a year. They’re just not making furloughs like they used to, I guess.

Most of the above hacks do next to, if not absolutely nothing, but how the hell would you ever know? When they’re not  “telecommuting,” they’re hiding in their plush offices behind their preposterously inflated titles.

But a handful of these overpaid fools do have to … produce, or in most cases, not produce. Take the UMass football coach, Walt Bell.

According to the comptroller, Coach Bell has already collected $300,808 in pay this year, although his “annual rate” is listed as $408,000.

And what do the taxpayers get in return for this princely salary?

In his first year, “Coach” posted a gaudy 1-11 record. His Minutemen (or whatever they call them these days) gave up 623 points to their opponents — 52.7 per game. Some say both are Division I records, for futility. But then, UMass is a world-class institution.

For this gross ineptitude, Coach Bell is paid $11,000 a week while a million of the taxpayers on the hook for his salary have lost their jobs in the pandemic. The best news for the UMass football program will be if they “furlough” the entire season.

Next, consider basketball coach Matt McCall. His base pay is listed as $250,000 but with the extra perks he’s already grabbed $227,385 so far this year.

In his three years at the helm of the UMass hoops program, he’s rung up a glittering 38-58 record.

If all these salaries are “survival mode,” where do I sign up to get in on the New Depression?

And remember one final thing: All these hacks (except maybe the coaches who’ll eventually be fired) are on the state pension system. So behind the $300,000 salaries comes the 80% state-tax-free pension with the free health care.

UMass is world-class all right — world-class hackerama.

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