Salary increases may be on the way

Jessie Hellmann

As budget hearings loom closer, many faculty members wonder whether it will be the year for an across-the-board raise – something none of them have received in two years.

Compensation will be the faculty senate’s number one priority to request during its hearing 8:30 a.m. Monday in Carter Hall.

“The main priorities for the faculty senate are to increase the compensation to cost of living because we haven’t had a cost-of-living adjustment in several years,” said Faculty Senate President Paul Parkison.

They are also going to request an increase for the adjunct faculty, he said.

“We also recognize that for our adjunct faculty, the pay for that has not increased in a while, and so looking at recommending a study and a pool to bring that more in line with the market,” Parkison said.

He said he is hopeful the faculty will get the salary increase.

“I’m hopeful because the state employees are going to get a cost-of-living increase,” he said. “Although we’re not state employees, … the state is offering that, so I’m hopeful it will trickle down to us as well.”

Parkison said the senate’s other priorities are increasing the travel budget for faculty, setting up an equity adjustment system for uneven salaries, hiring more faculty to ease faculty work overload, and increasing the library materials budget.

“A lot of our research relies on the databases the library is able to subscribe to, and students have access to that as well,” Parkison said.

Mark Rozewski, vice president for finance and administration, said the number one priority for the university is a salary increase.

“The number one thing to do here, if there’s money, is compensation for everybody,”  Rozewski said.

He said the next priority is hiring new faculty.

“Hiring new faculty (is a priority) because we do not have enough faculty to teach the students that are here,” Rozewski said. “Faculty are on what’s called overload. They’re teaching more courses per year than they would otherwise teach. We can’t ask them to do anymore. We need more full-time faculty.”

He said after the university determines how much necessities like health insurance and utilities will cost, they will know how much money they have left for raises and other expenses, such as hiring new faculty.

“We have to find out what costs of necessities are, how much money we’re getting from the state, and then what’s left to do anything with,” he said. “It’s possible between health insurance and salaries, there may not be much left.”