Lack of Pay Raise does not Prevent Rutgers from Soliciting Donations

A Nov. 28, 2016, email from Senior Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness Vivian Fernández addressed to all University faculty and staff restated previous information regarding the lack of pay raises for Postdoctoral Associates. Her email read:

“On November 22, 2016, a federal court in Texas issued a nationwide injunction order that enjoins (prohibits) the United States Department of Labor from implementing the proposed changes to the regulations governing overtime pay exemptions in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.  Those changes were to have taken effect on December 1, 2016.  Because of the court’s order, those rules will not go into effect as expected across the country.  As a result of the court ruling prohibiting implementation at this time of the proposed regulations, Rutgers is not, as of December 1, 2016,  going to implement any changes to employees’ salaries  or exemption classifications until further direction from the courts.  We will report on further developments as needed.  Any prior notice you may have received regarding changes to salary as a result of these proposed regulations is no longer applicable at this time.  We apologize for any confusion this may cause but, as noted previously, the court just issued the ruling.”

On Nov. 29, just one day after this announcement, Rutgers University President Robert Barchi emailed the entire Rutgers community to ask for monetary “support of all things scarlet.” The text of his email read, in part:

Members of the Rutgers Community:

I am pleased this morning to help kick off our second annual Rutgers Giving Day, the day the University community comes together in the spirit of giving in support of all things scarlet. During last year’s inaugural event, we saw thousands of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends from around the world take part and demonstrate their pride in Rutgers.

Today is another opportunity to take part in this special event. As faculty members and staff, you make an impact at Rutgers every day, and you share in the vital mission of the University.  This second annual Rutgers Giving Day, under the theme “Paint the Day Scarlet,” is a call to consider giving back to the institution in a very personal way, supporting particular schools, units, and programs at Rutgers that have special meaning for you.

This message concluded with a list of ways to make donations to the University.

In effect, we are being asked to support an institution that does not support us in return. Even Alanis Morrissette would recognize the irony here.


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