Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Tiny Bookstore Manager makes over $50,000???

While I was looking for information on professor's salaries, I found the IRS Form 990 (Statement of income, expenses, etc for a 501(c)(3) org) for the law school's tiny little bookstore.

Turns out that the manager of the bookstore only works 35 hours a week and makes $52,000 plus $10,000 in contributions to his/her retirement plan.

The bookstore is only open for 5.5 hours a day most of the year. The only time I see it as being busy is at the beginning of the semester when all of us buy our books for the semester. I have purchased stuff from the bookstore before, and was always waited on by someone who looked like a student getting work-study.

Here is a damn good question: Why isn't the manager the one working the counter if she is getting paid so much? I would like to offer to take her job for $45,000. The school would save $5K a year, and I would have a job that is likely to be more lucrative than the public interest position I intend to pursue after graduation.

Better yet, perhaps we should just buy our books from the University Bookstore, located less than a block away and eliminate the law school bookstore entirely. I might end up paying 2% more for books, but I would also be able to pay with a credit card and be able to shop from 8 am until 8 pm or so (more than 7 hours longer than I can here).

As a bonus, the school could take the $60,000 they are saving (not to mention the cost of the student help and other operations costs) and put it into the LRAP every year. This would more than triple the amount that they could give to public interest students.

What is more of a social value - law students avoiding a block-long stroll to the bookstore, or us encouraging and fostering public interest work?

Seems that this school is choosing the former.


Anonymous said...

Just remember this in later years when UW-Madison seeks to shake you down for contributions. Your whole life, remember this. And make sure you keep sharing this with other graduates.

Truth be told, charity is better spent elsewhere in society than on this corrupt cabal that has infected our public university. Pursue your public interest career, and get others to contribute to assisting these nobel causes. But do not ever, ever, give this university money. They have made their choice; now make yours.

Overthee Hill said...

Since this was posted, I found out more info: it appears that the bookmart is a private (supposedly non-profit) corporation within the law school. When the school remodeled in the mid-1990s, the bookmart "may have" (according to a law school administrator) paid the school a large lump sum payment for that space. No one seems to be able to tell me how much and whether the bookmart pays rent. It realy is a weird situation.

However, I will still use my pitiful public interest salary to start a scholarship for any student who (like me) is a non-trad and the first college grad in his/her family. I felt like this segment of the law school is largely ignored with awards, yet may be among the most needy.

Refusing to spend money here only ensures that the school will be perceived as lower quality, which doesn't serve any of us well.