34th Faculty Senate

Vol. 34, No. 11

February 24, 2000


I. Roll Call.

Present: Bange, Barmore, Duquette, Grant, Heim, Hench, S. Kelly, R. LeDocq, Majak, Monte, L. Nelson, Nyatepe-Coo, Prucha, D. Riley, P. Taylor, VanVoorhis, Voiku, Wingate

Excused: Kraemer, Vogt

II. Approval of Minutes. The minutes of the February 17, 2000, meeting were approved with one correction/change of wording. The first sentence in the first bullet on the top of page 5 was changed to read "There was a concern that this proposal does nothing to address compression problems created by the proposed raises in the bonuses at the associate and professor levels."

III. Reports.

A.  Chancellor’s Report:  There was no Chancellor's report.

B.   Provost/Vice Chancellor’s Report:  There was no Provost/Vice Chancellor's report.
C.   Chair/Faculty Representative's Report:  There was no Chair/Faculty Representative's Report

IV.    Proposal from the PTS Committee to Address Salary Compression Between Ranks.

Chair Bange informed the senators that he met with Provost/Vice Chancellor Hastad and Chief Financial Officer Lostetter to try to clarify the administration's willingness to commit the $125,000 in institutional funds to the salary compression plan.

Provost Hastad shared with the Senate that since the PTS Committee was given their charge this past fall, Barry Clark has been working closely with John Tillman in the Provost's office. John has in turn kept the Provost informed. In addition, Barry talked with the Deans and the Provost. The Provost told the Senate that the administration is willing to commit the $125,000 of institutional funds contingent on the faculty meeting their responsibility to follow through with the System expectation that they use part of the pay plan to address compression. He also indicated that the faculty need to do this in a significant way. He stated that the current 25% of the pay plan and $125,000 of institutional funds is reasonable. The amount of institutional funds has already been raised once during the negotiating process and it is unrealistic to look beyond this amount.

Barry Clark then made a statement to the Senate. He indicated that the concerns about the PTS proposal voiced at the last Senate meeting fell into three categories. He addressed each of these categories in turn.

1. The plan puts an unfair burden on junior faculty.  Barry indicated that the error in this argument comes from viewing the 3 parts of the proposal (using a portion of the pay plan increase, use of salary savings and the increased promotion raises) as independent. They are linked. If we minimize the portion of the pay plan used, we risk lowering the number of dollars we can use from salary savings. In addition, by increasing the promotion raises the full professors give up additional dollars that could be used to address compression. The junior faculty in turn help the full professors by giving up a portion of the pay plan increase.

2. The plan puts an unfair burden on the College of CLS.  As Ron Lostetter pointed out at the last meeting of the Senate, CLS has approximately 37% of the full professors and generates approximately 36% of the salary savings. In fact, no college would be subsidizing other colleges since other funds would be used besides salary savings.

3. The plan fails to address other inequities besides those across the ranks.  The compression across the ranks is objectively measurable and an immediate problem. Current efforts for addressing other salary inequities still exist. Another concern was that the plan will create new compression problems in two ways. The first involves the plan to give the adjustments in equal dollar amounts across the board. This approach leaves each faculty member in the same relative position as before, and so does not negate the effect of merit raises. The alternative is to create criteria to access the worthiness of each full professor. Secondly, the increase in the promotion bonuses creates "leapfrogging" between the newly promoted and those already in rank. Barry indicated that this argument has merit.

Barry indicated that the PTS Committee had a "cyber meeting" concerning this issue. There was broad consensus in the committee, but not unanimous support, for the following three changes in the proposal.
 i)   The compression pool be divided - 80% for full professors, 20% for associates.
ii)  The salary adjustments for promotion be increased from the current level each year by 2/3 of the compression adjustment going to each rank until these bonuses reach the level of $3000 for associate and $5000 for full.
iii)  The newly promoted remain eligible for all future compression adjustments.

The floor was then opened up for questions/comments. The first question concerned the difference between Barry's suggested changes and the changes suggested in a possible amendment written by Chair Bange that was previously distributed to the senators. It was noted that the two differences were that Chair Bange's proposal splits the compression pool 77% for full professors and 23% for associates, and the Chair's proposal would be a one year plan rather than a three year plan.

Chair Bange indicated that no one knows what the exact numbers will be beyond this biennium in order to run simulations. The Chair also indicated that there are two issues being discussed. One is the distribution of the salary package in the 2nd year of this biennium. This issue must be dealt with by March 1st. The second issue is to deal with the compression issue in the long term. Discussion and work on this issue does not have to be done by March 1st.  It was mentioned that limiting the current plan to one year allows for further debate, and the plan can always be implemented again next year. It was suggested that compensation may be a better measure than just salary to determine compression since retirement benefits are better here than many other places.

M/S   to support the PTS Committee Recommendations on Salary Compression Issues.

M/S to amend the proposal as follows:

1.  That 25% of only the FY01 salary package be used to address compression.
2.  That the faculty recommend that $125,000 of University-wide resources be used to
     address compression.
3.  That the compression pool created by these two sources be allocated between the two
     upper ranks on a 23% to 77% ratio.
4.  That the salary adjustment for promotion to the ranks of Associate Professor and Full
     Professor by increased by 2/3 of the average compression increases that are awarded
     to faculty currently in those ranks.

The discussion on the amendment included the following issues.

  • Several senators supported the change to a one-year proposal. It was indicated that the plan will need to be revisited every year or at least every biennium since we need to know the pay plan. It is very possible that inflation could return to 5-6% while we only receive a 3% raise. Making this a one-year plan gives the broader community a chance to look at the plan. If it is a good one, it will withstand the scrutiny.
  • On the other side of this issue, it was pointed out that making this only a one-year plan shows less of a commitment by the faculty.
  • The Provost mentioned that there are too many unknowns to really plan three years ahead. We do not know whether we will have the flexibility to use dollars from the next pay plan to address compression. He indicated that no matter what the Senate decides, the plan will be revisited next year. The Senate should not tie the hands of next year's Senate.
  • There was a concern that money will be taken from the junior faculty to pay full professors who may not be rated meritorious.
  • It was indicated that until the dollars show up in our checks, the pay plan dollars don't belong to us, they belong to the State of Wisconsin and they have suggested using up to 1/3 of the package to address compression. We should demonstrate that we are serious about the issue by increasing the percentage of the pay plan used from 25% to 33%. The hope would be that we would have a better chance of continuing to receive additional resources.
M/S/F (by show of hands) To amend the amendment by increasing the percentage of the pay plan used from 25% to 33%.

M/S/P  (by roll call vote 17/0/1) to approve the main motion to amend.

Discussion then continued on the main motion as amended.

M/    to amend the motion to say that in order to receive a salary compression adjustment, the faculty member must have received a merit ranking above the department average for four of the last five years.

It was noted that in many department's merit schemes, nearly everyone is put in the same category with perhaps two put into a higher category. This would mean that only two people in that department would receive a compression adjustment.

The motion died for lack of a second.

M/S/F (by show of hands) to amend number 4 in the main proposal to read as follows:

 4.  In any given years, only those ranks with percentage salary shortfalls greater than the UW-L total salary shortfall (percentage difference between UW-L total salary base and corresponding CUPA salary base) shall receive adjustment. Within the ranks receiving adjustments, only those individuals whose salary shortfalls are equal to or greater than the UW-L total salary shortfall shall receive adjustments. Individuals shall receive whichever is less: the standard adjustment or an adjustment that increases their salaries to the level of the UW-L total salary shortfall. Individual salary shortfalls shall be determined by comparison to the average CUPA salary for the individual's rank within the individual's discipline. In cases where no CUPA data exists for a discipline at UW-L, a closely related and similarly paid discipline shall be used to establish a benchmark.

The discussion on this motion to amend included the following comments/concerns.

  • It was noted that just because someone is above the CUPA average does not mean that they are not compressed.
  • There was concern that this would penalize people who had been in rank the longest and also the meritorious people in rank.
  • It was noted that the mechanics of this amendment could cause problems. The principles behind this issue can be part of next year's discussion.
  • It was pointed out that this amendment attempts to correct an inequity that is outside what this proposal was intended to accomplish.
The Senate then returned to the main motion.

M/S/P (by show of hands) to approve the main motion as amended.

The Provost/Vice Chancellor ended the meeting by commending Barry Clark and John Tillman for their efforts. The senators gave them a round of applause in response.

V. Old Business.   There was no old business.

VI. New Business.   There was no new business.

VII. Adjournment.  The meeting adjourned at approximately 5:00 p.m.

Rebecca Lewin LeDocq, Secretary