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Commission report examines faculty salary issues

March 6, 2012 By Greg Bump

The Commission on Faculty Compensation and Economic Benefits warns that the university is at risk of losing world-class researchers unless steps are taken to bring UW–Madison faculty salaries in line with its peers.

The commission sounds the alarm in a report given to the Faculty Senate Monday (March 5). The report says while salaries of associate professors are close to the median of peer institutions, average salaries for full and assistant professors are 15.6 percent and 6 percent, respectively, below their counterparts.

Among the ideas in the report to stem this trend is increasing the ratio of non-resident students admitted to UW–Madison, thereby gaining revenue from the higher tuition non-resident students pay. This could be achieved without reducing the number of in-state student admissions to the university, the report suggests, and tuition increases for resident students should be limited to amounts needed to offset state budget cuts.

The commission also recommends reallocating philanthropic funds spent on building projects to faculty salaries, working with the Wisconsin Alumni Association and other stakeholders to advocate for a state pay plan, and implementing a supplemental pay based on merit plan for faculty, academic and classified staff.

In addition, additional funding for salaries could be developed through implementation of savings and new revenue strategies through Interim Chancellor David Ward’s Educational Innovation campaign, the report recommends.

See more on the recommendations here.

In other news, the Faculty Senate approved changes to the composition of the Recreational Sports Board to better reflect groups that use the facilities.

The number of faculty members on the board will be reduced from five to two, the number of academic staff members will be reduced from five to three, and the number of student members will be reduced from five to four. A classified staff member will be added to the board.