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Report highlights faculty dissatisfaction with salaries, transparency

Faculty Senate survey indicates faculty opinion on University issues

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Forty-six percent of University faculty are dissatisfied with their pay, according to a survey released during a Monday afternoon Faculty Senate meeting.

A 51-page report compiled by members of the senate’s Faculty Recruitment, Retention, Retirement and Welfare committee surveyed faculty about salaries, communication and leadership, the honor code and overall satisfaction with the University.

The senate conducted the survey in 2011 in collaboration with the University’s Center for Survey Research. The survey was paid for by the Office of the President and was completed before the attempted ouster of University President Teresa Sullivan in June.

More than 3,000 salaried faculty and 865 wage-earning faculty responded online. The survey yielded a 53 percent faculty response rate after adjusting for ineligible responses.

About 82 percent of faculty were satisfied at some level with the University overall, with about half of respondents being either very or extremely satisfied. But respondents said pay, communication and transparency and leadership at the dean level and above needed improvement.

“I don’t think anyone was surprised by [the results of faculty pay questions],” committee chair Joe Garofalo said.

Sullivan addressed the senate, saying University leaders hoped to raise faculty salaries to a level that would rank the University in the top 20 of Association of American University schools by 2016.

“We think it will take about $65 million dollars added to the payroll,” Sullivan said. “We believe there are other sources [besides tuition] that will help us move to that goal.” Foundations and donors could help the school reach its funding target, she added.

Faculty were also asked about the current honor system. The survey found 40 percent of faculty who had never reported a case strongly supported the system, whereas only 20.1 percent of those who had referred a case strongly supported the system.

“Overall people supported [the honor system], but of the people who had used it, support had gone down,” Garofalo said.

Just 5 percent of faculty respondents listed the honor system as an important issue or concern.

Faculty Senate Chair George Cohen encouraged faculty members to give further input after the results were revealed.

In addition to the report, the senate discussed strategic planning initiatives for the University and the possibility of sequestration — drastic federal spending cuts set to take place automatically unless Congress acts by Jan. 1.

Sullivan directed faculty to visit the University’s nascent strategic planning website, which provides information about the strategic steering committee and a planning timeline.

A draft of the strategic plan is scheduled to be presented to the Board of Visitors at the beginning of the 2013-14 academic year, according to the website.

Sullivan also addressed the impact of federal cuts on the University’s research efforts. Sequestration’s total annual impact on the University is estimated to be more than $35 million.

Sullivan and other University leaders last summer began bracing for the potentially uncertain financial future after Jan. 1, according to a University-wide email Sullivan sent to students last week.


Published December 4, 2012 in FP test, News







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