Penn State: General salary increase could come back for faculty and staff


Students sit outside Old Main on the Penn State campus on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.

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Penn State faculty and staff could be in line to receive a general salary increase this year despite the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, if university management has its way.

According to university president Eric Barron, who spoke to employees in a webcast on Wednesday, no concrete decisions will be made until July, when the board of trustees formally approve a budget for the next fiscal year. But, after going last year without a raise, Barron said it was an “extremely high priority” for the GSI to return this year.

“In my mind, it’s critical that GSI be a part of our future, especially considering all the hard work you’ve put in,” Barron said.

The annual raise was put on hold last year after Penn State’s financial future was uncertain amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As of February 23, the university estimated the financial impact of the pandemic at $400 million.

Some employees have been laid off. Some have taken pay cuts. Some have been fired. But between that and other cost-cutting measures, such as the deferral of capital projects, university management felt the pandemic had been overcome enough to bring GSI back – although a press release clarified that it was too early to determine what a potential GSI might look like.

“We will do everything possible to ensure that this incredible effort you have made is recognized by the university, although we have had to carefully monitor our pennies, nickels and many larger denominations in order to manage this well,” said added Barron.

Penn State’s board of directors is expected to discuss the budget at meeting dates July 14-16. Barron plans to host another webcast later this month, potentially for students and parents.

This story was originally published April 1, 2021 11:28 a.m.

Josh Moyer earned his BA in Journalism from Penn State and his MS from Columbia. He has been involved in news and sports writing for almost 20 years. He boasts the best athlete he’s ever seen as Tecmo Super Bowl’s Bo Jackson.

William M. Mayer