Insufficient funding results in WITs' reduced salary
Issue date: 4/21/06 Section: News
WITs are supposed to be paid $500 per term for each class they tutor; however, this term's WIT's will be paid $500 regardless of whether they tutor one or two classes.
Harriet Millan, director of the WIT program, said that tutors have been in high demand this term.
"Our budget is proposed in March and set in July for the entire fiscal year," Millan said. "We budgeted enough money to pay WITs for four terms, based on past experience and reasonable anticipated increases. What we didn't know was that so many professors teaching writing intensive courses would ask for WITs, many of these courses having multiple sections. Our WITs' successes have earned them great recognition, and the success of the program built upon their hard work is making it more popular."
The funding for this program is provided through the Pennoni Honors College. This term the demand for WITs was much higher than before, and the need for greater funding was not anticipated.
"While the dean of the Honors College made every attempt to secure additional money from his other budget lines, we eventually reached a limit," Millan said. "If anything, our budget for WIT was the highest it has ever been. We started this program eight years ago with 20 WITs working per year and now have 88. Only because the WITs do such an excellent job and provide such first-rate services, have they attracted such high demand."
Daniel Steinberg, USGA director of public relations, said that they have not received any formal complaints from WIT. Millan said that only two of the 48 WITs working two courses this term have complained about the funding problem.
Jake Paine, a WIT, does not feel that this situation is dire.
"As a long-time WIT, I do feel that we've had luxuries and amenities in this position so far," Paine said. "I think this isn't the worst thing to happen. If anything, the publicity and attention this issue has brought will convince the powers that be to recognize the value of WITs, as well as reveal how deeply WITs care for the cause."
Millan added that any tutor who wishes to quit temporarily will be allowed to come back the following term. It appears, however, that no one intends on giving up their position.
"I hold the Writing Center in high regard," Paine said. "Quitting would make somebody else's job harder. I owe my peers and faculty more than to walk out when the times get rough."