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Furthermore …

Under the wire and mainly in the dark

Leaders of the state’s universities learned long ago that one of the best ways to minimize criticism is to make major decisions when students – and more than a few faculty – are away from campus.

So it was on Saturday – the day after the semester’s end – that Purdue trustees approved the contract for new president Mitch Daniels (annual pay: $420,000 to $526,000). The board also approved the contract for football coach Darrell Hazell ($2 million a year plus possibility of bonuses). The Purdue board also hiked room and board rates.

In Muncie on Friday, the last day of finals, the Ball State board approved a host of actions, including a strategic plan as well as a new salary plan that bases 70 percent of pay increases on merit as opposed to longevity, compared with the previous 30 percent.

And in Terre Haute, the Indiana State University board – also on the last day of finals – approved an increase in employee health insurance rates, shifting costs from the university to workers.

Anyone wanting to voice objections to any of these plans over the next three weeks or so will have to do so on sparsely populated campuses during winter break.