Senior administrative staffers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev are having their pay cut by 5%, to "serve as personal examples," during tough economic times, university president Prof. Rivka Carmi has announced. Payment for teaching remains protected from salary cuts as a result of the contracts negotiated between the government and the lecturers following the latter's strike in the spring of last year. Not surprisingly, the cut was blamed on the global economic crisis. "Following a difficult year of budget cuts, war, low exchange rates and the general global economic downturn, the university has little other choice if we want to reduce our deficit," explained university spokeswoman Faye Bittker. Staff members who are affected by the 5% reduction feel a responsibility to help the university achieve fiscal stability, and understand that the bigger issue is government cuts in budgets for higher education, Bittker added. "It is unfortunate that the Israeli government has been cutting educational expenditure rather than investing in it. Perhaps the Israeli government should take a leaf out of Obama's administration which made special efforts to raise funds for America's education sector during these difficult times," she said.