Cash Strapped Rutgers University Pays Snooki From Jersey Shore $32k To Speak To Students!

by Khaleef Crumbley on April 1, 2011

in Education

Snooki at Rutgers University

I was pretty blown away when my wife sent me this story. Apparently “Snooki“, who became a star from the MTV show, “Jersey Shore” was paid $32,000 to hold two question and answer sessions at Rutgers University.

This is on top of the fact that they are paying $30,000 for the keynote speaker at this year’s graduation! This will be the first time that Rutgers University will pay for someone to speak at commencement.

Rutgers University And Snooki: A Display Of Financial Irresponsibility?

That’s a total of $62,000 in order to have two people (neither of whom are connected with higher education) come to speak to students for a few hours! For those of you who are not familiar with RU, they are a public university (actually, The State University of New Jersey) who has seen their state budget appropriation fall in recent years!

Here are a few things that I think are important to understand about the university’s financial situation:

The State University of New Jersey’s Budget Crisis

  • Rutgers University has not paid raises to their staff since 2008 – this represents a breach of contract by the university in both 2009 and 2010 (and it is expected to happen again this year)

  • The State University of New Jersey has only given its faculty members 25% of their contractually obligated salary increases since 2008

  • New Jersey has cut higher education funding over the last few years

  • Rutgers has increased tuition rates for students in each of these years

  • The university actually has departments/units that are losing money

  • Over the last few years, there have been many athletic and academic programs that have been cut

  • The university has laid off a number of staff members

    Now, I understand that $62,000 won’t solve all of these problems (although that’s probably the salary of two workers who were laid off), but I still think these were poor decisions! They have never needed to pay someone to come and speak at the graduation ceremony; So why wait until the university is in a budget crisis (to use the words of the president) to start spending money in that area?!?!?!? I can’t believe someone actually said, “Hey we’re broke, so let’s spend money on something that we always get for free“!!!

    Let’s get back to Snooki for a minute! I don’t want you to think that some outside agency or special donor paid for her to come…here is what the article has to say about it:

    The Rutgers University Programming Association paid the reality star using the mandatory student activity fees undergraduates must pay with their tuition.

    So basically, the university increased tuition and fees this year, and then decided to take some of that money and pay Snooki to talk on campus for a few hours! This is in the face of all of the financial difficulties outlined above. They cried and complained when the state lowered higher education funding, but yet they have no problem with squandering the money in this fashion!

    I have no respect for a company that breaches contracts with its employees, withholds money, cries broke, continues to raise prices (tuition), and then decides to waste money!

    Just in case you think this event was all fun and games, Snooki was asked to give some final words of wisdom to the students (the future leaders of the world), and here is what she said: “Study hard, but party harder!”

    [Update: Read Rutgers’ Statement About Snooki]

    I would love to know what you think about all of this!

    © 2011, Khaleef Crumbley. All rights reserved.

    Leave a Comment

    Please note: Use of comments that are off-topic, personal attacks or contain profanity in the field below and/or any links, may be removed at my discretion. Also, by submitting a comment here you grant this site a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution.

    { 7 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Marilyn

    Wow. just. Wow. I’m not really sure what words of wisdom she could legitamely offer. Lame.


    2 Bret @ Hope to Prosper

    I suspect the whole bastion of higher education is about to receive a rude shake up in the next couple of years. Because of their monopolistic status as the key to high paying jobs, students and parents have had to endure the obscene tuition, questionable curiculum and snotty tenured professors.

    It’s obvious the university system is inneficient and outdated in their methods of preparing students for jobs in the private sector. And, the runaway tuition cost and for-profit student loan industry are starting to place a heavy financial burden on graduating students.

    Some brilliant thinkers, including Sir John Templeton, predicted lecture-based instruction will be replaced by interactive electronic devices and many brick and ivy universities will disappear in the next 50 years.


    3 Doable Finance

    That’s what it comes down to. Our kids look up to the high school dropouts just because they may make money in music, TV and movies. Google her and you would find her skimpy clothes if not completely naked.

    It’s not just Rutgers University, the country as a whole has developed a different attitude towards education.

    Wikipedia says: “While shooting in Seaside Heights, Polizzi [Snooki] was punched in the face by a New York City school teacher. After the punch was made public, Polizzi’s appearance fees increased from $2,000 per event to $10,000 per event.

    But that’s show business. Charlie was making more than a million per episode for publicly throwing up because of booze, drugs and prostitutes. He kept getting more money.

    Whether Rutgers has financial problems or not, that’s besides the point. An educational institution does something like that is beyond my comprehension.

    But hey folks! Cheer up. This is America.


    4 optionsdude

    I have to agree with you 100%. This was a total waste of money and immensely irresponsible. To top it all off, Snooki. Get real. I would be furious as a taxpayer and parent knowing that even one penny of my money went for that (insert non-writable word).


    5 Danielle Coleman

    PR stunt…maybe. But no matter what way you flip it, I still dont see how she added anything to the students. They could get the “pary hard” message just from watching the show.


    6 Shawnna James

    this is ridiculous. i agree with you on this one. i miss you friend. and i am gonna try and pay you all a visit in may. :-)


    7 mica g

    I’m sorry but the best they could come up with was snooki??
    They could’ve taken a classier approach to waste their funds and go
    With Jennifer Hudson.


    { 4 trackbacks }

    Previous post:

    Next post: