Compensation for faculty and staff is a high priority for me, the Board of Governors and leaders throughout campus.
Last week the board approved a one-time retention payment. Full-time faculty and staff members (including auxiliary and grant-funded employees) will receive a $700 retention payment in their August 2018 paycheck.
To be eligible to receive the payment, you must hold a full-time position on Aug. 1, 2018 and have been employed in a full-time position on or before Jan. 1, 2018.
These payments will cost $1.8 million from university reserves.
Retaining faculty and staff
The budget for fiscal year 2019 includes $276,818 for faculty promotions and the Professor Salary Incentive Program (PSIP). Equity increases were also awarded to 88 employees using existing funds within their administrative unit or academic department. It does not include an across-the-board raise. I know this is disappointing. I am disappointed, too.
While the budgets for fiscal year 2018 and 2019 have not included across-the-board raises, we have prioritized compensation during my presidency. Every year we have centrally funded faculty promotions. We created the PSIP. We funded staff pools for merit and equity increases. We funded across-the-board pay raises each year through fiscal year 2017. But state budget cuts in fiscal year 2018 made pay raises impossible.
The board and I recognize the need to improve compensation for faculty and staff. We set out to fund an across-the-board pay raise in the fiscal year 2019 budget, but our efforts were stymied by state funding cuts recommended earlier this year.
The board approved the one-time retention payment outlined above to address the need to improve employee compensation. We understand this is not an acceptable substitute for an across-the-board compensation increase.
The budget passed by the legislature does not include the budget cuts recommended by the former governor. We appreciate the General Assembly’s commitment to higher education as demonstrated by the reversal of the proposed cuts.
Should we receive the funds appropriated by the legislature for fiscal year 2019, we will reconvene the Executive Budget Committee in the fall to evaluate options for an across-the-board mid-year compensation increase.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!