The university is working on raising faculty and staff salaries through a three year plan. President Sherilyn Emberton, Ed.D., informed the faculty and staff of the decision at the board of trustees update Oct. 23
Tthe university will be giving stipends in November to full-time and part-time employees as part of the plan.
The stipends will cost the university approximately $100,000 out of this year’s budget, Emberton said.
“I think people were just appreciative that the university did something,” she said. “Our people work so hard anyways, and it’s an opportunity for the university to say ‘We appreciate you.’ Even though we didn’t have a significant increase in revenue this year, we still had an opportunity to do something.”
In 2015-2016, the administration will make a recommendation to the board to raise salaries by two percent. In 2016-2017, they are planning to add another one-and-a-half to two percent increase on top of the original two percent from the year before, Emberton said.
“All of these are based on the ability for the university to maintain enrollment and all the other things that have to happen,” she said. “That’s our plan.”
Kevin Miller, Ph.D., faculty member at the university since 2002, said he appreciated the clear message from the board of trustees.
“I understand the problem which is without growing enrollment and with a drop off in funding following the Great Recession, it’s been hard to keep faculty salaries in the 50 percentile range that is the goal of the university,” he said. “What I do appreciate, though, is that the board made a statement to the faculty that I thought was exceptionally frank and understanding of our condition.”
Miller said he thinks the three-year plan is “going to work.”
“It’s set its sight very low,” he said. “At the same time, I appreciate them being very realistic and not setting the bar high and missing it time after time.”
Julie Hendryx, senior director of human resources and operations, said starting salaries for professors “vary based on experience in academia among other factors.”
“A starting salary could be in the $40,000 – $50,000 range for full time professors,” she said. “You would likely find a similar starting range at many peer institutions. Most professors are on nine month teaching contracts.”
Adjuncts are typically paid around $740 per credit hour for the traditional undergraduate program, she said. According to the 2013-2014 Faculty Salary Survey by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the mean salary for a professor at the university is $62,200 and is $54,000 for an associate professor. The mean salary for an assistant professor is $44,500.
The board of trustees last approved a salary increase during the 2011-2012 fiscal year, Hendryx said.