[Vision2020] Many factors contribute to low faculty morale at UI

Nicholas Gier ngier006 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 21 12:57:05 PDT 2016

*The Argonaut Reporter Should have Called the UI Faculty Union. Since 1976
we have published annual salary surveys.  Here are the figures from the
last fiscal year.  The national comparisons for FY16 won't be available
until March 2017.*

*Faculty Advocate (June 18, 2015)*

*In This Issue:*

*UI and BSU Dead Last Among Peers*

*LCSC Full Profs 34% Behind*

*ISU Refuses to Send Salary Data*

*Salary Steps Funded at NIC*

*Proposed UI-ISU-BSU Step System*

*Corrections to Local News Stories*

*UI Full Profs 14% Behind Land Grant Peers*

*Lag 26% for all Ph.D.-granting Campuses*

By Francesca Sammarruca, President

UI Faculty Federation/AFT/AFL-CIO

Two corrections need to be made concerning the editorial on UI faculty
salaries (*Moscow-Pullman Daily News*, June 12). First, the UI Faculty
Federation salary surveys have always compared the UI with other public
(not private) Ph.D.-granting institutions.

We do not aspire to be a Yale, Harvard, Princeton, or Columbia, but we do
compete with WSU, where full professors there make on average $122,800
while ours make $95,900.

Second, the legislative appropriation for faculty raises this year was 3
percent, but our calculations indicated that 90 percent of UI faculty
received 2 percent instead. (See department lists at
www.idaho-aft.org/UIFY2005.pdf.) Instead of having a separate appropriation
for promotions, merit, and other salary adjustments, which a union contract
would demand, one percent is always taken off the top for these purposes.

This year we initially neglected to include comparisons to selected
land-grant universities.  (That analysis can now be found as Table II at
www.idaho-aft.org/Survey15.pdf.) Since 2009 we have gone from fourth from
last to dead last.  UI full professors are now 14 percent behind rather
than 8 percent. *Montana State used to below us in the ranking, but since
they have chosen a union, they are now ahead of us*.

*BSU Full Profs 20% Behind Their Peers*

*Seven Peers have Union Contracts*

As the attached table demonstrates, BSU stands last among its peers, mostly
selected metropolitan universities across the country. BSU full profs are
20 percent behind; associates are at -11%; assistants, -8.5%; and
instructors, -8.7%. For some reason the American Association of University
Professors received no data from three peer institutions: Portland State
University, University of Texas at El Paso, and Weber State University.

*LCSC Full Profs $3,700 below National Assist. Prof Average; 34% behind
National Fulls*

Idaho university faculty are way behind their peers in salary, but LCSC is
shockingly so. According to the 2014-2015 AAUP salary survey, LCSC full
professors make $57,300 per year, but their peers in public baccalaureate
institutions (AAUP’s category IIB) make $87,182. *The national average for
assistant professors—$61,000—is $3,700 more than LCSC full professors.* (Last
year that differential was $2,800.) LCSC full professors make 34 percent
less than the national average for IIB campuses. Associate and assistant
professors are 31 and 24 percent behind respectively.


For four years running, the ISU administration has declined to send salary
data to the AAUP.  After President Arthur Vailas disbanded a duly elected
faculty senate, the AAUP voted to place ISU on its sanction list in June,
2011.  It now has the dubious distinction of being one of four institutions
in the U.S. that are on this black list.

*Salary Steps Funded at North Idaho College*

North Idaho College faculty benefit greatly from the only salary step
system for postsecondary teachers in Idaho. For several years NIC’s Board
refused to fund the steps, even though it is expressed required by college
policies.  With IFT legal aid, the local AFT chapter consulted an attorney
and his findings were presented to the Board.  At its last meeting it was
announced that the steps from the two previous years will now be funded.

*A UI-ISU-BSU Salary Step System*

At the center of every faculty union contract is a salary scale. With
satisfactory performance each employee receives seniority pay by advancing
one step in the scale. Cost-of-living raises increase the base for each
step. Where merit pay is recognized, the faculty member then advances
several steps. Promotion in rank is rewarded by jumping to a higher line of
steps.  Check the attached table to see where you would be if we were on
such a system.

On Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 9:27 AM, Moscow Cares <moscowcares at moscow.com>

> Courtesy of the University of Idaho Argonaut at:
> https://www.uiargonaut.com/2016/04/18/many-factors-contribute-to-low-faculty-morale-at-ui/
> ---------------------------------
> Many factors contribute to low faculty morale at UI
> This is the country of opportunities, right?” Hrdlicka said. “At least
> that’s how it is marketed.”
> Hrdlicka is one of many faculty members who believe the morale among UI
> employees is dangerously low. At the center of their many grievances is
> money.
> James Foster, a distinguished professor in the College of Science, said
> his salary is 30 percent less than the average pay for a professor of his
> rank at peer institutions — and he’s not the only one.
> At Washington State University, professors receive annual salaries well
> over $100,000, with some reaching past $200,000 per year. Faculty members
> at UI’s peer institution University of Nebraska-Lincoln receive salaries
> around $100,000.
> In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the salaries given to regular faculty at UI
> ranged from lower than $20,000 to more than $100,000 annually. Despite
> where their salaries stand, the majority of faculty have not seen
> significant raises, with much of faculty only seeing an increase of about
> $2,000 over the past three fiscal years.
> Hrdlicka said low pay has the potential to act as a statement to
> employees. He said because UI uses a kind of scoring system to determine
> pay, low employee compensation shows faculty, staff and administrators
> where they rank and how much the UI administration values them.
> Liz Brandt, a distinguished professor in the College of Law, said it
> doesn’t impact morale right away when faculty don’t see a significant raise
> to their salary in a year — it’s when the pattern repeats that it can cause
> damage.
> “If you have a year with no pay increase, I don’t think most people take
> it like that,” Brandt said. “If you have two years without a pay increase I
> don’t think most people take it like that. If you have six years without a
> pay increase, you start to think, ‘What am I, chopped liver?’”
> But most faculty members don’t come to UI because of the pay, Brandt said.
> There are other issues along with low salaries that are detrimental to
> morale.
> Foster said the increasing number of created administrative positions
> combined with the steady rise in salaries for administrators can lead other
> employees to wonder why that money can’t be spent to raise salaries for
> non-administrators.
> UI Provost and Executive Vice President John Wiencek said he’s not sure if
> this issue is based in truth, but he would look into it.
> “My experience with these things is it’s myth often that gets generated
> without data to back it up,” Wiencek said.
> Wiencek and other new administrators that arrived at UI in recent years
> have received the biggest raises compared to what their predecessors
> received.
> Wiencek’s current annual salary is $46,176 more than what the previous
> Provost and Executive Vice President Douglas Baker received.
> According to the Faculty and Exempt Salaries report over the past three
> fiscal years, in 2013-2014 Bruce Pitman held the title of both vice provost
> of Student Affairs and dean of students, and received a yearly salary of
> $132,828.80. The next year, after Pitman announced his retirement, he was
> listed as vice provost for Student Affairs, while Craig Chatriand assumed
> dean of students in January 2015, a promotion from associate dean. That
> year Pitman received a raise of just under $3,000. When Jean Kim stepped in
> as vice provost for Student Affairs, her annual salary jumped to
> $178,526.40.
> Wiencek said there is a current search going on for a new Vice Provost for
> Enrollment Management, which will be a new position within the UI
> adminstration.
> Low pay is a primary source of the high faculty and staff turnover rates,
> which is yet another blow to morale. UI President Chuck Staben said faculty
> turnover at UI is twice the national average at 14.5 percent. Wiencek said
> turnover numbers for staff are even higher at 18 percent. Staff members are
> the ones leaving UI more often, and Brandt said this impacts faculty morale
> as well.
> When staff members leave, other employees need to work to hire and train
> replacements. The lack of familiarity also doesn’t encourage employees to
> make connections with each other.
> “I’ve had three different faculty assistants in the last 18 months,”
> Brandt said.
> Staben has said one of his primary goals for the university is to increase
> enrollment by 50 percent, but this objective can also demoralize faculty,
> Hrdlicka said. He said many employees don’t necessarily believe the
> university can reach this goal, and increasing enrollment has been tied to
> raising salaries.
> Even if the university does reach the goal and enrolls about 15,000
> students, Hrdlicka said he and many other faculty members aren’t certain
> that their pay will rise anyway. Such a spike in the number of students
> will bring about more issues for UI, like limited housing options and fewer
> faculty members to teach them.
> Wiencek said the State Board of Education came up with the goal to
> increase enrollment to address the needs of the state.
> “Our president has made it clear that he is 100 percent behind the
> direction that the State Board wants to take the state in general in this
> regard,” Wiencek said.
> In terms of low faculty morale, Wiencek said he isn’t sure there is much
> of a problem to begin with. He said it may just be because he is an
> administrator, but he’s gathered from the conversations he’s had with
> faculty and staff that many UI employees are more hopeful for the future.
> “They really feel that there’s a new day and that things are really moving
> in a positive direction,” Wiencek said.
> Though there is still plenty of room to improve, Hrdlicka, Foster and
> Brandt all said they feel there has been an improvement to faculty morale
> in the past year. All of them tied it to the increase in transparency among
> administrators, specifically Wiencek and Vice President for Finance Brian
> Foisy.
> “Vice President Foisy I think is — among the staff in particular but also
> faculty probably feel this way­ — is somewhat of a rock star,” Wiencek said.
> Where Brandt said the end of the last academic year was an all-time low
> for faculty morale, there has been an increase this year due to the
> attitudes of the people in charge. Last year she said employees saw no
> clear direction for the university because Staben’s administrative team was
> still in development, but now it’s clear that the administration is making
> an effort to improve UI and the people who are a part of it. Their openness
> to discussing major concerns is a big part of that, she said.
> “I think right now people really appreciate the sense of transparency and
> openness that is there,” Brandt said.
> *Erin Bamer **can be reached at **arg-news at uidaho.edu
> <arg-news at uidaho.edu> **or on Twitter @ErinBamer
> <http://twitter.com/@ErinBamer>*
> ---------------------------------
> Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .
> "Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
> http://www.MoscowCares.com <http://www.moscowcares.com/>
> Tom Hansen
> Moscow, Idaho
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A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they
shall never sit in.

-Greek proverb

“Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity.
Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance
from another. This immaturity is self- imposed when its cause lies not in
lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without
guidance from another. Sapere Aude! ‘Have courage to use your own
understand-ing!—that is the motto of enlightenment.

--Immanuel Kant
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