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MU board to vote on faculty raises

Aug. 25, 2013 @ 11:00 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Some tenured and tenure-track faculty at Marshall University will receive salary adjustments if the board of governors gives its approval to the administration's plan to disburse $320,000 set aside in the new budget for raises.

The plan will be discussed and voted on Tuesday, Aug. 27, when board members convene in Memorial Student Center. The Finance, Audit and Facilities Planning Committee will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the John Spotts Room, where the action item must be vetted before going to the full board at 11 a.m. at the full meeting in the Shawkey Dining Room.

The plan outlined in the agenda and recommended by President Stephen Kopp would be implemented in two pieces. One piece includes certain eligible faculty members who were awarded promotions effective this fall semester. They'll receive an incremental amount that is the greater of the usual 10 percent increase and or $6,300 for those promoted from assistant to associate professor and $7,400 for those promoted from associate to full professor.

The other piece addresses certain eligible faculty members whose regular base salary is below specific minimums, which are $59,700 for professors, $52,300 for associate professors and $46,000 for assistant professors.

About 125 of nearly 400 faculty members will get either one of both adjustments, according to Matt Turner, Marshall's chief of staff.

"These adjustments are restricted to tenured and tenure-track faculty with terminal degrees," the agenda states as rationale for the disbursement plan. "Tenure-track faculty is the group with the greatest need for salary adjustment during the hiring process. While it's desirable to have faculty with a terminal degree, there's limited ability to reward possession of a terminal degree in present salary policy, and it tends to only be addressed in the initial hire. These adjustments will begin to stop the practice of valuing terminal-degreed faculty and those without such a degree as the same in salary policy."

A terminal degree is defined as the highest educational degree available in a given field of study.

The agenda goes on to state that the university has had problems recruiting qualified, instructional faculty. Setting a minimum salary for existing faculty begins to address those problems by allowing some departments to hire new faculty closer to market salaries without being restricted by low salaries of current members of the faculty.

"The minimum salaries by-rank and the minimum promotion increment are first steps in addressing needed structural changes in faculty salary administration," the agenda states.

The actual cost for the salary changes will be an additional $354,000 to the base budget, although this fiscal year it is only expected to be $256,000 because it covers about three-quarters of the full year. If approved, the adjustments would be in effect for the Nov. 1 pay period.

Tuesday's agenda also includes action on a request to approve an intent to plan a master's degree in athletic training, which would build upon the undergraduate program Marshall already has. No additional resources, faculty lines or budgetary allocations are needed.

The university also is seeking final approval from the board on its master's degree in public health. It would be the second public health graduate degree program in the state.

Those two academic action items will be discussed in depth during the Academic & Student Affairs Committee meeting that starts at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in room 2W37.

New board members also will be sworn in by Cabell Circuit Court Judge Jane Hustead. They include Huntington attorney James Bailes, businessman Phil Cline, financial consultant Christie Kinsey and Tim Dagostine, a division manager at Champion Output Solutions in Huntington.

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