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I hope your readers can stand one more letter concerning the $75,000 pay raise for University of Montana President George Dennison. There is no doubt that Dennison is a very nice fella and deserves all of the glowing words. And perhaps a raise, also. But not in the present atmosphere.

Above all, he doesn’t need a golden parachute to drag into retire ment for the rest of his life. The small difference in pay isn’t worth the stigma. And perhaps he would have been held in even higher esteem if he would have just rejected the raise instead of accepting it.

To try to answer Eileen Kennedy’s question, “What is obscenity?” (letter, March 9), we must look to the Montana commissioner of higher education and the Board of Regents. The word that they keep tossing around as an excuse for their actions is “parity.” They claim it has been their policy for almost 40 years. They weren’t using it when they hired the new Montana State University President Waded Cruzado at $280,000. If they would have, they would have put her salary at $205,050, on a par with Dennison’s. Parity goes both ways.

But let me put it another way – in a little story that comes to mind:

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Once there were seven regents. They were all in the same boat called “Parity.” They were all playing with guns. Six of the Regents shot themselves in the foot. The seventh regent, the good one whose name was Todd, missed his foot and blew a hole in the boat. And that’s why the boat won’t float.

Do we need seven regents? Why not cut it down to five or three or maybe even one? We’d still have an odd number to break tie votes, and save enough on regents’ salaries to pay for the university presidents’ raises they voted for.

Marion Wrightsman, Plains

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