Friday, March 23, 2007

Want to Know How Much I Make?

All you need to do is visit this site on any UW System computer, request a disk with the info from any UW campus, or call the UW-Milwaukee HR Department at 414-229-4463.

Evidently for some legislative Republicans, that amounts to keeping it a secret.

Since no other public employee salary information at any level in Wisconsin is that accessible, it seems to me GOPers like Suder are just about taking any opportunity they can get to publicly throw some crap -- even an eye-rolling amount -- at the UW System.



Blogger Dad29 said...

I happen to agree with you that UW prof salaries should not be available for voyeur-scrutinies.

I also think that UW administration salaries should not be available, except in very limited circumstances.

I DO think that UW should be examined to make certain that the salary/student per cap is within generally accepted norms.

If they are not, then there should be an inquiry.

March 23, 2007  
Blogger Daniel Cody said...

It's not just professors or administration salaries that are available through the redbooks, any un/classified staff salaries are easily searchable. There are also a few of the union sites that have this information available to members if you dig hard enough.

I'm all for public disclosure and accountability by the way, but there's a fine line to walk between that and making a reasonable effort to protect information that doesn't serve the public interest.

March 23, 2007  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

It didn't bother me all that much when UW salaries were completely accessible online. My guess is that most people didn't know about it or bother to look at it, anyway.

Individual salaries essentially answer questions about that individual. And there aren't too many individuals in the UW System that the public cares enough about to need (or want) immediate web access to their salary info from any location. In virtually all instances, if someone wants individual salary data, the fact they need to pick up a phone rather than simply go onto the web (unless they're on a campus computer) isn't going to be a significant impediment to getting that info.

What you're talking about, Dad29, is the public's potential need to know aggregate salary data. And the fact is aggregate salary data is still available online from any location for every UW campus and its even broken out by department/division for each campus.

But, again, it didn't bother me when individual salary data was online. I just think it's beyond ridiculous (and verging on pathetic) that Suder and others would take time out of a JFC hearing to try to hit the UW on the lack of accessibility to individual salary records that are still more publicly accessible than similar records for any other government agency in the state (including those for Suder's own legislative staff).

March 23, 2007  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Only voyeurs want that data. And generally, voyeurs do not NEED that data.

March 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed, Dad. It's good to see a true conservative on this issue, rather than Owen's neocon-cum-liberal (!) take on this.

And the UW does have to deal with voyeurs who turn into stalkers of teachers, and that can get darn costly for the UW, the teachers, and the good students who get less of the time of a teacher dealing with it -- and often, less access after a teacher has learned the hard way about the weirdos.

So the less info about teachers online, the better. Thinking about the Social Security debacle in this state, thinking about similar errors already made by the UW in releasing directory info about students in violation of restraining orders for their protection (that happened at UWM last year) -- this sort of data dump about teachers too easily could lead to other data about them landing online, too.

And then the costs could be a lot more than what the UW already has had to pay for teachers who are stalked, have to head to court, etc. As for what teachers would have to deal with, in these days of identity theft and worse -- again, costs can be more than monetary.

And all this for someone's convenience, when the UW already exceeds the requirement that the info be available? No true conservative would call for more.

March 25, 2007  

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