Thank you for the generous welcome, your positive feedback, and your willingness to help move the University forward. I appreciate it.
I want to update you on our priorities, as well as the changes we are making to better position us to implement the goals in the long-range plan, Fulfilling Our Promise.
I have indicated to many audiences that the No. 1 priority for my time as interim president is to find a way to improve salaries. We are now in the third year without an across-the-board increase in salaries, which I find unacceptable, especially given the hard work that exemplifies the faculty, staff and administrators at Missouri State University.
I am well aware that the salaries for most of our faculty remain below the CUPA averages. And, I also am aware that 52 percent of our staff are in the bottom quartile of the pay ranges. I am committed to improving that situation.
Realistically, the increase will come in several components, which I want to explain here.
Market and equity
For this budget year (2011-12), we were able to provide market and equity adjustments totaling $1,045,755 to 284 faculty. For staff, we adjusted the pay ranges for the first time in three years, and 328 employees have been brought up to the minimums of the pay ranges for a total investment of $397,242. These adjustments were approved at the June 17 meeting of the Board of Governors.
$500 plan to address staff compression
Pending Board review and approval, the $500 Salary Increase Plan will provide additional increase amounts to those holding full-time staff positions prior to July 1, 2010, and whose original increase to the new minimum was less than $500 annually. These adjustments would apply to those employees in Quartile 1 of the University’s pay range. Quartile 1 represents those employees paid in the lowest fourth of the range.
Seventy of the 328 employees who received the July 1 increase to the minimum of the new ranges would receive additional monies to bring their annual salary increase to $500. These employees’ salaries would move past the minimum by the amount of the additional increase. The additional salary increases for these 70 employees total $17,465 annually.
In addition, there are 316 employees who were in full-time staff positions prior to July 1, 2010, who are in Quartile 1 and required no adjustment to the new minimum. These employees will receive an annual increase of up to $500, with the amount of the increase declining as needed for those with salaries within $500 of the upper limit of Quartile 1 so as not to exceed the upper limit of Quartile 1. These increases for employees in Quartile 1 would cost $149,061 in additional salary on an annual basis. As in June, the office of human resources will provide general and individual information following the August 5 Board of Governors meeting when we hope the Board will approve this plan. If approved, these adjustments would be effective September 1, 2011.
For staff, the total adjustments for market, equity and compression will impact 644 staff (49.8 percent of the 1,293 in pay ranges) for a total investment of $563,767.
Having begun to address at least some of the market, equity and compression issues, the focus now is on across-the-board salary increases for all faculty and staff. We will discuss this goal and options for achieving it on August 5 at the Board of Governors Retreat. We also will gain input from the Executive Budget Committee this fall. I will keep you informed on our progress, which I am determined to make.
Related to compensation, I want to draw your attention to two items:
- Cell phone allowance – I have asked for a moratorium on new cell phone allowances until we have a chance to review that policy. Because cell phones are so common and because the rate structure for their usage has been modified, my strong feeling is that we should eliminate these allowances in the future.
- Car allowances – as I have indicated to you, my intent is to roll car allowances into base salaries so the total salaries are clearer. There is logical history for the allowances, but I believe the circumstances have changed and the policy should as well. The dollar amounts associated with car allowances are not inappropriate or undeserved, but I do think it is best if they are included in the salary for maximum transparency. No new car allowances will be approved.
Frank Einhellig and I are consolidating all international functions. International Student Services (ISS), English Language Institute (ELI), and Study Away have moved from the Provost’s Office and have been combined with the China Program. The International Programs will be under the direction of Jim Baker, vice president for research and economic development, and will be supervised by Steve Robinette. Our long-range plan calls for growth in international students over the five years of the plan. We believe this reorganization will help us achieve the long-range plan goal of increasing international student enrollment, as well as provide the services and support that our international students need in order to succeed.
Adult Student Services
Adult Student Services is moving from Student Affairs to the Provost’s Office under the direction of Dr. Joye Norris, associate provost for access and outreach. Joye has responsibility for Missouri State Outreach, which includes classes and programs taught through a variety of modalities including online, iTunes U and interactive video. She also oversees the University’s off-campus centers and coordinates dual credit programs. Adult Student Services is a logical addition to the Missouri State Outreach as we provide additional educational options for nontraditional and adult students.
Joint Ad-Hoc Committee on Post-Administrative Appointments
As I indicated in my first communication to campus, Frank and Dr. Terrel Gallaway, chair of the Faculty Senate, have jointly formed an ad hoc committee to look at post-administrative appointments. That group has been formed and includes the following members: Rich Biagioni, Terrel Gallaway, Sue George, Janice Greene, Tom Kane and Kent Ragan.
This ad hoc committee is charged with evaluating and making recommendations for improving current policies regarding individuals who leave administrative positions and continue working at the University as part of the faculty. In particular, the committee is to examine the following:
- The appropriate change in compensation
- Who pays for this compensation
- The type of work assignments given and productivity expected
- The granting of tenure when administrators are hired from outside the University
- Other potentially relevant issues such as severance packages, course release, etc.
The Joint Ad-Hoc Committee on Post-Administrative Appointments will provide a report jointly to the Faculty Senate and University administration by October 1, 2011.
University Space Allocation Advisory Committee
It is important that we use our limited space in the most efficient and effective manner to serve our students. This goal is identified in the Responsible Stewardship strategic direction in the University’s long-range plan for 2011-16, Fulfilling Our Promise. Toward that end, given the number of stakeholders and the nature of the shared governance environment, it is essential to have in place a meaningful and collegial process to ensure an open and fair procedure whereby academic and administrative space needs and resources can be addressed and adjudicated. It is also critical that there be a clear line of authority and decision-making process.
I have appointed the University Space Allocation Advisory Committee. All requests for academic and administrative space needs must be made through the committee. The committee will report to the vice president for administrative and information services (VPAIS), who will chair the committee. The VPAIS will have the ultimate decision-making authority and responsibility with appeal rights of the vice president’s decisions going to the president. Please note that all academic scheduling functions will continue to be the responsibility of the Provost’s Office.
For more details about the committee and its membership, please see operating policy Op11.20 in the Policy Library.
Executive Enrollment Management Committee
Frank is in the process of reconstituting the Executive Enrollment Management Committee. Chaired by Don Simpson, associate vice president for enrollment management, this committee will have broad-based membership so that we consider all segments of our enrollment, as well as retention issues. Obviously, effective enrollment management is fundamental to our future both philosophically as we attempt to increase the number of citizens with degrees and practically as we also manage this important revenue source.
Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation
I am pleased to report that Frank has asked Dr. Etta Madden, professor of English, to chair the HLC Accreditation Working Committee, and I am even more pleased to report that Etta has accepted. She will be assisted by Dr. Bill Cheek, professor emeritus, who chaired the previous two 10-year accreditation efforts. As you know, this is a major university-wide responsibility, so I am very grateful to Etta and Bill for agreeing to lead us through this process.
Responses to last communication
Thank you for your feedback on the first issue of Clif’s Notes. As I promised, I have read all of them. Where appropriate, I have responded or asked the appropriate administrator to respond. That will be the practice in the future, as well. Obviously, it is difficult to respond if the comments come in anonymously, so I hope you will become comfortable signing your questions about any topic so I can respond.
We are nearing the end of summer school and preparing for commencement on August 5. We also have a Board of Governors retreat, followed by the regular Board meeting the morning of August 5. That will be a full and good day on campus.
Once we get into August, it means the fall semester is fast approaching. Classes begin Monday, August 22, and the 10 days prior to that are action-packed, especially for new faculty and new students. For example, Gail and I will be hosting all new faculty and their guests for dinner at our home on August 16, and then the next night we will host 150 residence hall assistants for dessert also at our home.
I look forward to having the students back on campus and to working with all of you in 2011-12. Thank you.