Faculty pay to increase

Student tuition would increase by at least 3 percent in 2002 if the measure for a faculty and academic staff pay raise is passed by the state Legislature.

The tuition hike may not be all bad, said Student Senate Vice President Erin Brandt, as faculty pay at Eau Claire needs to stay competitive with other schools in the UW-System.

Michael Wick, chair of the University Senate Compensation Committee, agreed.

“If you don’t reward good faculty – in the market today there is such a demand we’ll start losing people,” he said.

The 4.2 percent overall pay raise the Board of Regents approved is not nearly as much as the amount recommended by University of Wisconsin professors. They had recommended a 6- and 8-percent increase in the next biennial budget.

Wick said the 4.2 percent raise is better than the average increase he’s seen in the 10 years he’s chaired the compensation committee. Last year, a raise of 5.2 percent was given, the highest raise in the last 10 years.

He said although this raise is better, it still may not be enough.

“It is my speculation that it will cause us to fall behind our peer institutions,” he said.

The state of Wisconsin usually picks up about 65 percent of the tab for salary increases, Vice Chancellor Andrew Soll said.

The pay raise will not take effect and may need some revision before it is passed by the Wisconsin Legislature and Senate.

“We probably won’t know until six months from now,” Soll said.

The pay increase must also follow the “one-third, one-third, one-third rule.” This means that one-third of the pay increase must be distributed on solid performance, the next third based on merit/market evaluation and the last third may be based on the other two.

Soll said the last budget proposal went well.

“The university was pretty effective in the last biennial when they made the case for the need for a large increase,” he said about last year’s 5.2 percent raise.