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Board of Trustees approves faculty compensation plan

Overall goal aims to rank OHIO third among four-year public universities in the state

At the most recent meeting in June, the Ohio University Board of Trustees acted on recommendations from the Faculty Total Compensation Task Force and set aside $2.04 million as one step in a multi-year plan to move faculty compensation levels to third among four-year public universities in Ohio.

The task force, chaired by OHIO Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit, was charged in May 2013 with developing a plan to update the University’s faculty compensation to increase the University's competitiveness when it comes to the recruitment and retention of faculty. A report with recommendations was introduced and endorsed by Faculty Senate in February.

“I was happy to be a part of such a cooperative and productive task force,” said Kevin Uhalde, who also serves on the OHIO Faculty Senate Executive Committee. “Many faculty across our campuses should notice some positive impact already this semester. This coming year, with more time for assessment and planning, I hope that all full-time faculty begin to benefit and that we can begin to address some of the particular equity issues Faculty Senate raised in 2013.”

The recommendations, as outlined in the report, include the following:

  • Move the average salary for tenure-track faculty on the Athens campus to the position of third for each rank among the four-year public universities in Ohio by investing $1.3 million per year for three years for a total of $3.9 million;
  • Invest the same percentage (2.19 percent) in compensation for regional tenure-track faculty, which is an estimated investment of $540,000 over three years;
  • Invest the same percentage (2.19 percent) in Group 2 faculty, which is an estimated investment of up to $740,000 on the Athens Campus and up to $940,000 on the regional campuses;
  • Evaluate employee health benefits and the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on total compensation*.

*Total compensation encompasses base salary as well as health care benefits.

The task force analyzed Ohio University Athens and regional campus compensation data for Group 1 and Group 2 faculty. This data was then compared to 11 four-year public universities in Ohio with regards to rank in terms of professor, associate professor and assistant professor compensation.

“I have heard from faculty members that they greatly appreciate the trustees’ willingness to help make up the ground that salaries have lost over the last several years,” said Beth Quitslund, chair of OHIO Faculty Senate. “While Ohio University still has to make difficult choices in budgeting, this is an investment toward retaining the talented and diverse faculty who teach here.”

Implementation guidelines were established during spring semester 2014 and incorporation is scheduled to take place in the raise cycle affecting the 2015-16 academic year. The task force suggests a reassessment take place each year during the three-year timeline to analyze the amount of investment needed to achieve the overall goal.

The board of trustees also approved a 2 percent raise pool at its June meeting to support faculty and staff compensation. In addition to the raise pool, the following additional percentage raise pools were allocated by rank:

  • Athens Campus faculty: Group 2 faculty, 2.19 percent; assistant professors, 1.16 percent; associate professors, 1.96 percent; and professors, 2.92 percent.
  • Regional campus faculty: 2.19 percent.

To view a PDF version of the entire report, visit www.ohio.edu/provost/.