Central Michigan University President Michael Rao to Leave CMU

Alright, this news came in over the weekend while I was at the Michigan Republican Winter State Convention, and I’ve been swamped with stuff, so I’m just now getting to it.

President Machael Rao, who’s been at CMU for 9, decided that he’s going to leave at the end of this year, to take a job as  president of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Personally, I think that Rao is leaving at a bad time.  He just started his pet project, the medical school (which I strongly oppose because, in my opinion, it’s a waste of money that we can’t afford to waste right now), and now he’s leaving.

Personally, I hope that we have a president who’s more fiscally responsible than Rao was.  He overspent money, raised tuition, initially refused to give a pay raise to the teachers, but then decided that a 3% pay raise was alright for him.  Instead of cutting costs where we could (aluminum gutters on Warriner Hall, new street signs with university colors), lowering tuition for the students (or at least keeping it the same), and giving the teachers a pay raise, he gave HIMSELF a pay raise.

Probably the worst thing he did was get rid of the CMU promise, which promised that tuition would stay at the same level for students throughout their stay at CMU.  That was a HUGE draw for CMU, and with that gone, CMU lost a lot of it’s luster.

I wish Rao the best as he leaves.  He’s a really nice guy, but I think he could’ve done a lot better for CMU, and leaving right now is the wrong thing to do.

Good luck, Mr. Rao!  At least it’ll be warmer in Virginia!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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4 Responses to “Central Michigan University President Michael Rao to Leave CMU”

  1. Nick Says:

    Hasta la vista. Don’t let the door hit you.

    –Nick
    http://www.RightMichigan.com

  2. Em Says:

    the tuition increases and other cuts can be blamed on granholm and state cuts to public universities, and the avg salary for a university president of a school the size of central is $477,000. rao made a little over half of that. also, the medical school wasn’t his pet project..it is funded by donors and voted on by the board of trustees, to which there are many members.

  3. CMU Student Says:

    1. Job offers as good as the one from VCU (much larger school, developed medical park, capital city) don’t just fall from trees. You either take them, or lose the opportunity.

    2. Twenty years ago over 60 percent of the university’s general fund came from state appropriation money. Now, state funding is less than 25 percent of the general fund. Not Rao’s fault. The school has to get funding from somewhere. Unfortunately, this results in tuition increases. It’s reality.

    3. Consequently, I highly doubt Rao wanted to get rid of the CMU Promise. It was a major selling point for the university. In these economic times, how could CMU keep floating the promise and maintain a budget. As the president of EMU recently said… if EMU kept tuition froze tuition for even one year and took cuts from the state as usual, it would result in a $12 MILLION budget shortfall.

    4. The aluminum gutters were already there. He replaced them. This building houses many of the main campus offices, not to mention admissions. It deserves more than plastic.

    5. How do you give teachers a raise without seriously throwing off the budget. Rao did allow for the 3 percent. Compromise within what’s workable in the budget? Probably.

    6. Rao does not give himself a pay raise. Members of the Board of Trustees do. Could he have passed it up? Sure. Was the raise much less than what CMU would have to pay a new president? Definitely.

  4. CF Daddy Says:

    Unfortunately this is a non-event. I am a CMU Alumnus, and while Rao was not perfect as a president he did accomplish some positive changes while there. The issues with our public universities at this point go deeper than who the president and board members are. Lansing needs to cut some programs to re-dedicate budget money to our educational institutions in a major way, and until this happens I’m afraid all of the universities are going to have to make some tough choices that are lose-lose propositions.

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