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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Bulge in Bulger: $960,000

On September first UMass President William Bulger will leave his multi-million dollar office on Beacon Hill for good, and he will take with him a large portion of our university’s dwindling budget.

Bulger has made the right move by stepping down as UMass President in order to shield the school from further political assaults from the governor. Governor Romney has shamefully focused on Bulger-and consequently the Commonwealth’s higher education system-as an easy target in an effort to show some political strength on Beacon Hill.

Bulger has come out against the governor’s plan to reorganize the system and place the schools directly under the management of the state. However, his motives were questionable as his own office would have been a casualty of Romney’s plan. His close ties to state politicians were very useful in getting the legislature to block Romney’s effort.

And then there is Whitey, President Bulger’s mobster brother. Whitey has been a continual thorn in the UMass President’s side. Bulger has rightly come under heavy criticism about not being more forthcoming with the Congressional committee that was investigating Whitey’s whereabouts and whether or not President Bulger had been in any contact with the mob leader.

However, William Bulger’s reputation as a powerful public figure has long been tainted and originates from when he was the president of the Massachusetts state senate. Bulger was known to strong arm other politicians into adhering to his own policies. Unfortunately, his prior reputation followed him to UMass where many people suspected the university to be just another public institution for him to corrupt.

Despite his fundraising successes during the first five years of his presidency here, UMass now faces a severe budget crisis. Accepting a pension of almost one million dollars is beyond inappropriate; it’s unacceptable.

Even more offensive about Bulger’s pension is that at the same meeting the trustees gave Bulger the huge sum, they turned right around and voted a $750 fee increase for all students. Almost twenty percent of the $5.5 million raised by the fee increase will be used to pay Bulger’s pension. If Bulger were genuinely concerned for the welfare of UMass he would decline his huge pension. The money could be used to send one hundred and eighty-six UMass Boston students to school this year for free, for example.

However, it’s obvious that President Bulger isn’t really concerned for UMass. Now the state officials in charge have the chance to install a president that can make lasting positive developments at UMass.