Tenured faculty to recieve pay raises

By Steven Barker

News Editor

 

In a memorandum released on April 21, CSUB President Horace Mitchell announced the implementation of a campus-based equity program geared toward improving faculty salaries. Designed specifically for tenure- and tenure-track professors, the program will provide pay raises for faculty whose salaries fall below the CSU median salary for that same position.

Mitchell added that $345,000 has been dedicated for salary increases. Of the 182 faculty members he said were eligible under the equity program, 70 thus far have been selected for permanent base pay increases. These raises will be effective in June 2015.

Mitchell praised the pay raises that will result from the equity program. According to Bruce Hartsell, a social work professor at CSUB and California Faculty Association representative, the average pay increase for eligible faculty is roughly $5,000.

“I am proud to support these faculty with a plan that I believe is fair, robust and deals directly with several of the inequity issues that our campus needed to address right away,” Mitchell wrote.

Mitchell similarly lauded the program’s structure, saying it addresses and almost completely erases the issues of salary inversion and compression among faculty pay. Salary inversion refers to when new faculty are hired at higher salaries than senior colleagues, while salary compression refers to when long-time faculty cannot achieve higher pay rates over time.

“The changes being made for everyone below our ‘50th percentile’ threshold … ameliorates or eliminates salary inversion and compression problems in nearly every Department across our campus,” Mitchell wrote.

While Hartsell said the program’s model was both generous and a positive change, he said other major issues went unaddressed.

“The campus-based equity program is an important step in the right direction,” Hartsell wrote in an email. “Any pay increase, especially in light of the historical inequities, is beneficial for the individuals who receive those increases. It does not address the larger issues regarding the allocation of funds within the CSU, including the increasing number of faculty members hired who are not on a tenure track and whose salaries are often significantly lower than for those who are in tenurable or tenured positions, nor does it address the need for faculty members to receive regular increases in pay.”

Hartsell additionally encouraged the university to consider implementing programs designed to address inequities among campus lecturers.

“Lecturers were not included in the campus-based equity program, and some lecturers have not had any raises for several years that were associated with their reappointments,” Hartsell wrote.

Mitchell wrote in the memo that lecturers would have their salaries addressed on a case-by-case basis when their contracts are renewed. He added that the university is currently working on an equity plan for university staff members.

State of the Union

The announcement comes exactly two weeks after the third publication of the CFA’s ‘Race to the Bottom’ reports. The April 7 report documented the decline of faculty purchasing power as a result of inflation and stagnant or dropping wages.

Per the publication, if all CSU faculty were employed on a full-time basis, their average salary as of Fall 2014 would equal approximately $63,000.

However, because almost half of all CSU faculty work part time, the average CSU faculty salary drops to roughly $45,000 prior to taxes and outer deductions. Accounting for such reductions, gross earnings amount to less than $38,000 on average.

CSU administrators have openly questioned the report’s findings.

“Over the last two years, the CSU invested $129.6 million in employee compensation with another $65.6 million slated in the 2015-16 budge,” CSU spokeswoman Laurie Weidner said. Over half of that money has been directed to faculty compensation.”

Weidner added that the average tenure-track faculty and average full professor salaries total $83,847 and $93,653 respectively, amounts that are almost one-and-a-half times larger than the CFA’s listed amounts.