35th Faculty Senate

Vol. 35, No. 7

February 1, 2001

I.  Roll Call.

Present:  Bange, Barmore, Barnd, Brooks, Claflin, Cravins, Doering, Gendreau, Heim, Hench, Hollenback, S. Kelly, R. LeDocq, Marx, Monte, Odulana, Senger, Stroud, R. Sullivan, Tyser, Zellmer.

Excused:  Majak, Van Voorhis.

II.  Approval of Minutes.

The minutes of the November 30, 2000, faculty senate meeting were approved as distributed.

III.  Reports.

Interim Provost/Vice Chancellor, Ron Rada reported on the status of the strategic planning process.   Plans are underway to create a survey instrument that will administered to staff on campus.  This survey will essentially attempt to assess us as an institution against the 1992 strategic plan.  The Deans Council will develop survey questions, and a draft of the instrument will be forwarded to the University Planning & Budget Committee on 2-28-01 to review, edit and revise.   (The University Planning & Budget Committee is a joint committee representing the entire campus.)  It is unclear at this point whether or not the survey will be distributed to all staff members or by a random sample.  Ultimately a report will be created and presented to the new chancellor as a basis for beginning the strategic plan process next fall.

Assistant Chancellor, Ron Lostetter announced that a student forum will be held on February 7th to discuss tuition differential.  This is an opportunity for any interested student to meet with the student senate and discuss this student academic initiative.  Presently, institution wide tuition differentials are in place at Eau Claire and Stout generating one million dollars in both instances.  A positive vote by the UWL student senate would put the tuition differential concept into motion.  This is a real opportunity for this institution to show that students care.  Hopefully by March the student senate will make a recommendation, which will then be forwarded to UW-System for approval by the Board of Regents.

Chair Bange announced that the Committee on Faculty Committee preference forms will be distributed by campus mail next Monday.  Likewise, nominating petitions for faculty senate election will be circulated next week via the Campus Connection.  Bange distributed copies of the FY2  Budget Proposals scheduled to appear on the 2/15/01 senate agenda.  Chair Bange will attend the Faculty Representative's meeting tomorrow in Madison.  He expects to have a better sense of where we are on the budget and specifically a possible 4.2% salary increase.  Lastly, the search for a Director of General Education is in the final stage.  Two candidates have been interviewed, and the committee will meet next Monday with the Chancellor and Provost/Vice Chancellor who expect to make their decision shortly thereafter.

Interim Chancellor Doug Hastad's remarks were of a positive nature with respect to new leadership in Madison.  It is his sense that no one will be attacking UW-System and he encouraged us all to be patient with respect to any forthcoming budget decisions.

IV.  Approval of New Academic Programs.

M/S/P to approve the following new academic programs as a package.  (voice vote)

Athletic Training Major
German Studies Major with a Business Administration Concentration
Microbiology Major with a Pre-professional Concentration
Microbiology Major with an Environmental Science Concentration
Theatre Arts Major with a Management Emphasis
Theatre Arts Minor with Performance Emphasis
Theatre Arts Minor with General Emphasis
Theatre Arts Minor with Management Emphasis
Theatre Arts Minor with Design/Technical Emphasis
UW-System had previously approved the new major in Athletic Training, which was moved from an emphasis within a major to a major.  The remaining programs are subprograms with existing majors and minors.

V.  Proposal from the Promotion, Tenure, & Salary Committee on the Distribution of the 2001-03 Salary Package.

Mike Abler, PTS Committee chair, joined the senate.  He presented background information on salary compression issues and reviewed the PTS committee recommendations.  Last year the faculty senate passed a pay package distribution plan in which 25% of the 5.2% pay increase from the state was used to address the problem of compression.  In addition, $125,000 in institutional funds was earmarked to address compression.  The plan was approved by the university administration and subsequently approved by UW-System.  The net result of the plan was an addition to base pay of approximately $2,261 for each full professor and $737 for each associate professor.

Compression adjustments to salary instituted last year have increased UW-L professors' salaries from sixth in the University cluster (UW System comprehensives) to third, while associates' salaries have remained second in the University cluster.  Assistant professors' salaries went from first to third.  Measured against national CUPA data professors moved from 17.28% to 14.66% ($11,329) below their peers, associates moved from 3.63% to 3.70% ($2,048) below their peers, and assistant professors moved from 1.06% to 0.52% ($239) below their peers.

Using the above CUPA data one could argue that full professors lag the farthest behind their peers.  UW-System has used a regional peer group for comparison in the past, and their 1999-2000 data show that UW-L professors were $4,400 (6.75%) below the peer group median, UW-L associates were $1800 (3.36%) below the peer group median, and UW-L assistants were $900 (2%) above the peer group median.  The committee examined and considered other data as well, but using the best estimate of real dollar differenced, the committee recommends instituting the following plan that, if adopted, should eliminate the need for compression adjustments following the 2001-1003 biennium.

Proposed distribution of the 2001-2003 pay package

It is hereby proposed that:

1) The salary adjustment associated with promotion from assistant to associate professor should be raised to $3,000, and the salary adjustment for promotion from associate to full professor should be raised to $5,000.  Both adjustment increases would be effective immediately, i.e. for persons promoted in 2001.  Individuals receiving these pay increases would be ineligible for compression adjustments during the 2001-2003 biennium.

Rationale:  If one wishes to separate faculty salaries by rank the best solution is to make the pay increases at promotion substantial.  The long-term effect of item 1 is to eliminate compression across ranks by institutionalizing salary separation from those at lower rank at the time of promotion.   Also, making individuals receiving the increased promotion salary adjustments ineligible for compression adjustments will prevent newly promoted individuals from surpassing the salaries of those individuals who have been at that rank for one or more years.  Another advantage is that a large increase in pay at the time of promotion will be magnified in subsequent pay packages approved by the state (e.g. a 4% increase on a $50,000 salary versus a 4% increase on a $55,000 salary, compounded).  The sooner pay adjustments at promotion are increased, the sooner the problem of compression across ranks will be addressed.  Item 1 is key to the entire proposal.

2) The $3000 and $5000 amounts should be increased annually by the same percentage as the increase in the faculty pay package.

Rationale:  In order to keep the pay increases at promotion substantial and prevent future compression problems, these pay increases must keep pace with the growth in faculty salaries as much as possible.

3) The university administration should be encouraged to contribute $131,000 of University-wide resources toward the elimination of compression across ranks each year of the next biennium.

Rationale:  The faculty senate has already approved $131,000 of institutional funds to address compression, the committee concurs with the amount.

4) The chancellor should be encouraged to dedicate his/her discretionary portion of the salary package (10%) to addressing compression across ranks.

Rationale:  As the pay plan distribution guidelines distributed by the state indicate, the chancellor has discretion over 10% of the pay package.  As salary compression across ranks has been ranked as a high priority, the chancellor should be encouraged to use those discretionary funds to address compression.

5) If the pay increase is 3.5% or greater, then 10% of the increase in pay package dollars (total faculty salary - base faculty salary) should be used to address compression across ranks.  (The 10% indicated herein is in addition to the chancellor's discretionary 10%.)  If the pay increase is less than 3.5%, funds to address compression should come only from items 3 and 4 above, and no additional resources should be taken from the faculty pay package.

Rationale:  The proposal attempts to minimize the redistribution of pay plan money among faculty.  The faculty do not have direct control over the use of institutional funds to address compression, nor do they control the chancellor's discretionary 10% of the pay package.  However, without such funds we cannot hope to address compression in a reasonable timeframe.  The 4.2% pay increase requested by System will likely be reduced by the legislature (has the legislature ever given System what was requested?).  3.5% was used as a cutoff for the use of faculty-controlled money because the inflation rate is projected at 2.8%.  If a 3.5% pay increase is enacted, 0.7% of the pay package dollars (Chancellor's 10% = 0.35% and faculty-committed 10% = 0.35%, total is 0.7%) would be used to address compression, leaving a 2.8% pay increase for faculty (solid performance plus merit).  The 2.8% pay increase would at least keep pace with inflation, and not penalize any particular segment of the faculty population too greatly.  A lesser pay package (less than 3.5%) would drive the possible pay increase below the projected inflation rate, and to unacceptably low levels in the committee's opinion.  Projected dollar amounts under various pay plans are shown in Appendix 2.

6) Available funds to address compression should be allocated to faculty at the ranks of Associate Professor and Professor in a 25% to 75% ratio.  Compression adjustments would be made to all eligible faculty in those ranks on an equal dollar basis.

Rationale: According to the CUPA and previous UW System data, full professors are farther behind their peers than are associate professors, while assistant professors are slightly ahead of their peers.  Compression adjustments at this level will offset gains in pay adjustments at promotion and maintain a substantial salary differential among the three ranks.  The compression adjustments should also keep UW-L faculty (regardless of rank) near the top of the UW cluster in salary, and increase the relative position of UW-L faculty in comparison to their peer institutions nationwide.

Effects of the plan:

Let’s assume for the moment that the legislature grants a 3.5% pay increase for each year of the next biennium (see attached sheet).  Full professors would receive a compression adjustment of $1,757 and associate professors would receive a compression adjustment of $633.  Two years of such payments, coupled with the 2000-2001 compression adjustments, would accomplish four goals:
1) The salary differential between UW-L faculty and their CUPA peers would be substantially reduced.
2) The salary shortfall as estimated by UW System would be eliminated ($4,400 for the full professors and $1,800 shortfall for the associates).
3) Faculty who have been at the rank of full or associate professor prior to the 2000-2001 fiscal year would not be surpassed in salary by colleagues promoted under this plan.
4) Salaries of UW-L faculty would remain at or near the top of the salaries of the UW System comprehensives, most of whom have not begun to address the problem of compression.

If implemented, the plan would cost an incoming assistant professor a total of $26, 217 over the course of a 30-year career.  If that same assistant professor is promoted in a timely fashion, she/he stands to gain $243,951 over the same period from the increased promotion adjustments to base pay.

Dr. Abler addressed questions/concerns while the senate discussed the proposed plan.  He indicated the committee felt that salary adjustments at promotion should be significant and that by linking the adjustments to the pay package each year by a percentage of the pay increase, it will eliminate the issue of compression.

Senator Kelly addressed her concerns regarding the potential problem of leap-frogging salaries: i.e. a situation where the salaries of newly promoted faculty would exceed the salaries of some faculty in rank.  Her concern emanated from the increase in the proposed promotion adjustments to $3000 and $5000 for Associate and Professor, respectively.  Senator Kelly offered the following amendment:

M/S to amend that all faculty receiving promotions receive compression adjustments based on their rank in the previous year and that promotion adjustments increase from last year’s levels* by 2/3 of the compression adjustment of the rank the faculty will be entering.  (*the effective promotion adjustment to full professor for 1999-2000 was $2910)

A discussion ensued and addressed both compression and promotion adjustments.  Additional concerns were expressed regarding the data-base used by the committee.

The Senate thanked Dr. Abler and the members of the PTS committee for their report.  The Senate left the motion and amendment on the floor without action, for additional debate at the meeting of February 15, 2001.

VI.  Old Business.  None

VII.  New Business.  None

VIII.  Adjournment.  The meeting adjourned at 5:05 p.m.

Submitted by

Thomas O. Claflin, Secretary