Does SMC’s Randal Lawson actually think that “music recitals, visits to local museums and guest lectures” will take the place of exercise classes shut down by Emeritus College?

The reason he won’t put a cost on keeping the classes going for winter session is that it is such a tiny amount that it is embarrassing to SMC to disclose. With SMC paying Dean Furuyama his full salary for the eight weeks the school is closed ($20,900 based on his annual $136,000 salary), two and a half administrative positions, janitorial staff, rent in various locations where exercise classes are held, the “savings” in a multi-million-dollar line item is a paltry amount for a few part-time instructors.

The true motive for shutting down Emeritus lies in Lawson’s statement that SMC is “exploring” having the city’s Parks and Recreation Department offer “fee-based classes.” It tried that two years ago and now it’s trying again to make seniors pay. The Board of Trustees stopped them then and they should now reverse the decision to shut down the Emeritus winter session.


Harriet P. Epstein

Santa Monica

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