Faculty Salary Information – 2008

To: All Faculty Members

From: Beth A. Cunningham, Provost and Dean of the Faculty

Subject: Faculty salary information

Date: April 10, 2008

I have received several requests for information about faculty salaries. As a result of those inquiries I want to share with the entire faculty information about salaries. Attached please find a report on faculty salaries and compensation prepared by the Office of Institutional Research & Planning. (See facsalfy0307bc2 for the report.)  This report has been shared with the Board of Trustees, the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee, and CUPP. The tables and figures in the report include comparisons to institutions in the Associated Colleges of the Midwest consortium, a group of institutions that we have been using to benchmark a variety of key statistical data including faculty salaries. We are currently waiting for data on the 2007-08 academic year salaries to be released from AAUP. Hence, these data are not included in the report. Please note that the data presented in the report do not include the salaries of librarians and coaches which, by AAUP’s convention, are not included in calculations of the instructional faculty salaries.

I also want to remind faculty about how salaries are determined. The “acceptable gap” salary equity system is essentially a testing mechanism applied to all continuing faculty salaries every year. We establish acceptable gaps for associate and full professor based on a comparison to rank averages at several points – when someone enters the rank and when he/she has been in rank for 6 years and 12 years. These flat dollar “gaps” have been gradually adjusted over the years as salaries move upward. For 2008-09:

  • when someone is promoted to associate, we adjust his/her salary to be no more than $10,000 below the rank average (we use the median in all these tests);
  • after 6 years in rank, to be no more than $5,000 below average;
  • after 12 years, to equal the rank average.

Similarly, if someone is promoted to full professor:

  • the gap should be no more than $13,000;
  • after 6 years, no more than $7,000;
  • after 12 years, at the rank average.

For these testing purposes, we use rank averages that are necessarily different from those you might see in our AAUP reports—first, because these averages are educated predictions made before our hiring is complete and before we know of all resignations or other changes in status but also owing to factors such as our broad definition of “faculty.” AAUP includes only instructional faculty in its salary reports, a convention which excludes librarians and coaches, both of whom we count among our full-time faculty and include in our equity program. With these caveats, I can report that the rank averages for 2008-09 that we are currently projecting for equity testing purposes are $63,179 for associate professors and $83,853 for full professors.

As an example, let’s imagine that after figuring in the across-the-board increase and the promotion increment, a new full professor in 2008-09 would have a salary of $65,000. The rank average is projected to be $83,853. The “acceptable gap” for this professor is $13,000. To fall within the acceptable salary range, s/he should earn ($83,853 – $13,000) $70,853. S/he will, therefore, receive an equity adjustment of $5,853 ($70,853 – $65,000), resulting in a new salary of $70,853.

We test all associate and full professor salaries automatically every year as we prepare contracts for the next year. A detailed summary of your salary increases whether they are across-the-board, promotion, and/or equity will be included along with your salary letter. As you read in the memo from President Wilson, the faculty salary pool will be increased by 3.5% for the 2008-09 academic year. We are able to give a 3.5% across-the-board increase this coming year because we have enough funds in the budget due to late resignations and retirements to provide this increase even after promotion increases and equity adjustments are deducted from the pool. This may not be the case in future years.

We anticipate that you will receive your salary letter in early May. If what you read in this memo and your salary letter, however, leads you to believe that we may have overlooked you, please send an inquiry to me, and I will look into where your salary falls in this system.

Please remember that I will be holding open forums to present this information about faculty salaries and answer your questions. The forums will be:

Tuesday, April 15, 4:00 to 5:00 pm – Turfler Room (wine and cheese), and
Friday, April 18, noon to 1 pm – Beckman Auditorium (beverages and dessert)

(Feel free to bring your lunch if you attend the forum on April 18th.)

If you have a question that may require me to gather some additional information, I would appreciate having some advance notice so that I can be prepared to be as clear and informative as possible.

I look forward to seeing you at one of the open forums.


About bethacunningham

Professor of Physics
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