University President Teresa Sullivan recently wrote to the University community concerning several cuts in the Virginia appropriation for the University. The final state budget adds $8.2 million less than planned to the University’s budget.
“In recent weeks, while the General Assembly was deadlocked in an impasse over the budget, we learned that Virginia is facing a budget shortfall estimated at $350 million for the fiscal year that will end June 30, with a more significant shortfall projected for the 2014-16 biennium,” Sullivan said in her email.
To make up for the shortfall, the University is holding off on a planned research and administrative faculty salary increase until October 1. The increase was supposed to take effect July 1.
A professor engaged in teaching and research making $60,000 per year would have seen a $2,850 salary increase. Instead, the same professor will see an increase of only $2,137.50, a 25 percent reduction.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the 12 months ending in May 2014, prices rose about 2.1 percent. For a professor making $60,000 per year, an increase of $1,260 would have kept pace with inflation. Once raises take effect in October, then, the “real” increase in faculty salaries is likely to be about $877.50, rather than of $1,590.
University Spokesperson McGregor McCance said the lack of a full wage increase was not a reduction in salary.
“The deferred effective date will mitigate most of the shortfall caused by lack of state appropriation for salary increases,” McCance said in an email.
University Provost John Simon and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Hogan would both be eligible for a 3 percent administrative faculty pay rise, 1.8 percentage points less than the teaching and research faculty increase. McCance said he did not know whether they would take the increase starting October 1.
Sullivan said the reduction in planned state appropriation would not stop the University from meeting its goal of increasing faculty compensation.
“Last year, the Board of Visitors approved a four-year plan regarding faculty salaries, with the goal of achieving an average faculty salary within the top 20 AAU institutions by 2017,” Sullivan wrote. “We also are committed to achieving market-level rates in our staff compensation.”
While faculty wages are increasing less, “classified staff” cannot receive any wage increase without a state mandate. McCance said 1,753 staff in Charlottesville would not see any wage increase.
The Health System, which has strongly supported efforts to expand Medicaid coverage for patients otherwise unable to afford care, will not receive a planned $5.6 million increase in indigent care costs.
“The Medical Center has no plans to cut programs,” McCance said. “The state actions should have no impact on the Medical Center’s plan for salary adjustments in FY15.”