The administration has cut faculty, staff, and classes. The FSU is concerned that these cuts threaten the educational mission of our university and has been working on campus to mitigate this outcome. This two-part blog will examine the cause of the deficit, what the union has been doing about these cuts, and how you can help.
Barry Mills, in a recent November 9 email to the UMass campus community, stated that the deficit was caused in part by the cost of substructure-related construction projects. Why? Because back in the 1970s, when McKee/Berger/Mansueto (MBM) was contracted to build the substructure upon which the UMass campus rests, rather than creating a solid foundation, MBM was so negligent and irresponsible that an engineering report in the mid-90s determined the substructure below all UMass campus buildings were in “imminent danger of collapse.”
Temporary fixes like repairing expansion joints, propping up wooden supports, filling potholes – none of these changed the fact that the substructure was a danger to the entire campus. Fire trucks can’t even drive onto the campus plaza due to the risk of falling through. The danger was deemed so great that the substructure — which used to serve as our campus parking facility — was shut down in 2006. Also, because the substructure houses campus utilities like electricity, air conditioning, water, and heat, the utilities must be moved, adding even more to the overall cost of repairs – costs which the UMB campus is being forced to pay.