Pay raise sparks rift among App State faculty – The Appalachian

Recent increases have caused some professors to question their salary while others disagree on where their salary is coming from.

Chancellor Sheri Everts announced an overall salary increase of 2.5% on January 28 for the 2021-22 financial year. The increase took effect on January 1.

A letter sent to faculty on February 8 indicated that there would be a merit increase based on teaching, research and service. In addition to merit increases, a 2.5% statutory increase is expected on the Feb. 28 paycheck, effective Feb. 21, wrote Kathryn Montalbano, a communications professor.

“I never got merit increases,” Montalbano said. “I’ve only been here since 2020 and worked two years at other establishments and never received raises like this. So I was very happy.

Others, like history professor Jeffrey Bortz, say teachers’ salaries are too low. Bortz criticized the App State’s pay practices in a recent advisory article in The Charlotte Observer

Anthropology professor Timothy J. Smith poses for a portrait at the Belk Library on February 23, 2022.
(Molly Fennessy)

“Most of our tenured professors don’t earn double Domino’s salaries, even those with years of award-winning teaching and published research,” Bortz wrote. “In fact, most of my colleagues earn much less. These low salaries follow a decade-long collapse in faculty salaries at ASU.

Due to rising inflation rates, faculty salaries fell 4.5% in real wages, Bortz wrote in his article.

Inflation rates reached 7% in December, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In January, App State granted a state-mandated 2.5% annual salary increase.

“In the history department where I work, five full-time professors earn less — some much less — than a full-time pizza delivery boy who earns $47,480. Most of our tenured professors don’t earn double the Domino’s salary,” Bortz wrote.

According to UNC Salary Information Database.

Starting pay for Domino workers is $16 to $32 per hour, including tips. Therefore, a full-time Domino’s employee earns about $33,280 to $47,480 per year, according to Domino’s. In effect page.

Bortz expressed concerns about the possible consequences due to declining faculty salaries. He said the problem was related to the quality of education at App State, as well as the general morale of faculty members.

“Most people who teach love to teach and do it the best they can, but when they feel like they’re not being paid fairly, or they feel the actual pay is going down, it’s very demoralizing,” Bortz said. “I don’t see how it couldn’t impact everything.”

Bortz said Everts’ appointment as chancellor is a possible cause of the decline in real faculty salaries since 2014.

Professors at all levels have lost $21,112 in annual spending power since 2009. Associate professors have lost $33,540 while full professors have lost $38,241, according to Appalachian Center for Economic Research and Policy Analysis.

The faculty senate voted without confidence to the chancellor on August 17, 2020. The vote was two to one in favor of no confidence, according to faculty senate reports. the lack of confidence in Everts was largely related to declining faculty salaries, but also to concerns that the Chancellor had failed to prioritize education, defend university employees, and involve faculty in important decision-making, according to reports.

In an analysis of tenure-track faculty salary trends over 10 years by the Center for Economic Research and Policy Analysisthe average salary for App State faculty members increased by $7,337 between 2014 and 2018.

App State media relations specialist Anna Oakes wrote in an email that Everts had prioritized faculty and staff salaries since being named chancellor.

The Spring 2022 Faculty and Staff Meeting on February 4 discussed the new budget and increases.

“This budget reflects months and months of advocacy for App State from members of the UNC System Board of Governors, our Board of Directors, my leadership team, and myself. It also reflects their support and respect for your work, which we feature on a regular basis,” Everts said in his remarks. Faculty and Staff Meeting.

Everts has been a “consistent advocate” for faculty and staff salary increases, Oakes wrote.

Timothy Smith, professor of anthropology and former department chair, said professors would not be paid as much as institutions with higher student populations or larger research facilities because more money needs to be allocated to major institutions based on student numbers and research.

“Salaries at App State are better than 10 years ago. I understand that there are limits and restrictions placed on the Chancellor which, in and of themselves, are based on the limits and restrictions placed on the office of the UNC system by the budget that the state gives us,” Smith said.

However, Bortz said the administration should focus its energy on redistributing funds in a way that prioritizes faculty salaries.

“The central function of the university is the faculty. The faculty is the university. The university is teaching, and research and faculty do that,” Bortz said. “So the whole budget process should be geared towards that. It should be about maximizing teaching and research and minimizing everything else.

Smith said there is a set of criteria used to determine funding allocated to universities within the UNC system, as well as salary increases awarded to faculty members.

The North Carolina state government provides each university in the state with a set amount based on factors such as student enrollment, undergraduate research, and overall academic performance.

Universities offer salary increases to faculty based on a multidisciplinary salary report, a system that taps into various categories to determine whether a faculty member is eligible for a salary increase. Categories may include the faculty member’s time at the university and their performance in areas such as teaching, service, and research, depending on the UNC Policy Manual.

“I don’t know how many professors really understand our funding model. But they need to understand that we have an advocate for us in the Chancellor, who pushed to change the funding model,” Smith said.

William M. Mayer