One year removed from a state-imposed salary freeze, some faculty members have expressed mixed reactions to a salary raise proposed last week.
At the Friday tuition and fee advisory task force meeting, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bruce Carney proposed lifting the freeze on faculty salaries, which has been in place since 2009. To fund merit-based pay raises, Carney proposed allocating $2.5 million of next year’s approximately $15 million tuition revenue to faculty salaries.
“It would be nice for morale to build up some salary money,” Carney said. “We want to do everything we can to hold our very best faculty here.”
But that proposal has been met with skepticism from some department chairmen and faculty council members who fear that providing a small pay increase may not solve retention problems.
Beverly Taylor, chairwoman of the English and comparative literature department, said there are multiple sides to the issue of raising salaries.
“Well, I’m sure people would be thrilled to have a raise,” Taylor said. “I’ve frequently heard my colleagues talk about not having a raise in three years.”
But Taylor said she is primarily concerned with the budget cuts within her department, and not her salary.
“It would be impossible for us to keep offering the same number of courses and instructions to the same number of students if we have to make more cuts,” she said.
“But if you lose your best faculty because they’re getting more lucrative job offers at other schools, then that’s a serious setback too.”