In 2013, the top 975 earners at UF,excluding people directly associated with the sports programs,made over 280 million dollars.  Taking a random sample from this year and comparing it to the current year, the average wage earner in this bracket has increased his or her salary by more than 3% per year for each year between the 2013 and the 2016 annual salary report.  Most of these top 975 earners have significant fringe benefits not included in their denoted salaries including allowances for cars, homes, and sending their children to private schools.  These benefits can more than double their real take home salary.  When Machen retired in 2014, he received a 3.9-million-dollar parachute package (though this was through private money)- without the consideration of various perks he received while president this effectively doubled his earnings for his time at UF. 

Meanwhile, the bottom 1000 graduate TAs earned an estimate $8.3 million (no more than 10) in 2013 and have seen that climb to only an estimated $12.5 million (at most 15) in 2017.   Additionally, TAs will return almost 1500 dollars of their wages (more than 7% of our total income before taxes on average) in the form of fees to the university significantly reducing their real pay.

The university employs approximately 4000 GTAs in total and another 7 to 8 thousand TAs on research assistantships and fellowships.  All of the GTAs together in the 2017 fiscal year earn significantly less than ½ the pay of the 975 top earners at UF in the 2013 fiscal year and on average make less than 90% of what is considered a living wage for Gainesville.  Collectively, however, a huge portion of the UF mission statement is being carried out by these 4000 individuals while a much smaller portion is being carried out by these top paid mostly executive positions (Some of them are faculty positions in the medical school). 

 

The difference in spending from the last fiscal year to this year in athletics (mostly the football program) is more than 5.5 million dollars alone.  The total athletics budget is 123 million dollars with 83 million of that going to football.  I know that much of the money for sports comes from allocations that are not readily available for disbursement to other programs, but nowhere in the mission statement of this university did I find a passage pertaining to athletic events.  In fact, the total accommodation that GAU has proposed will amount to less than the spending increase for the football coaching staff and team.  

I am personally engaged in research projects across several disciplines including machine learn, fractals and number theory. 
 

This semester, I teach 5 separate sections of various math classes.  I serve as president of the Graduate Mathematics Association, on the Graduate Assistants United bargaining committee and as Chairman of Graduate Affairs for the graduate student council.  I would honestly rather be working on my research and teaching than providing statistics that are more easily accessible to highly paid administrators than they are to me, but I feel this is a matter of fairness.

 

Look, the University of Florida is an excellent institution and I put a huge amount of work into maximizing the opportunity it has provided me.  I’m not on the bottom end of the pay scale and I have significant trouble making ends meet if I have even 1 unexpected large expense- a sickness, car trouble, my dog becomes ill, ect.  If I were sitting in that class of the top 1000 wage earners at UF I would take a voluntary pay freeze for a year to make up this difference if it can’t be found some other way.  Given the calculations I’ve done, that would more than make up for the difference.  I know this is something of an audacious suggestion, but education is literally the most important infrastructure investment in the world.  You want each of us to give as much of ourselves as we possibly can; What will you give?

The University of Florida 

Department of Mathematics

© 2016 by Jason Johnson. All rights reserved