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Most at TWU set to get raises this year

Profile image for By Jenna Duncan
By Jenna Duncan

Most staff and faculty members at Texas Woman’s University will receive a raise this year, after university officials spent two years researching the compensation needs of employees.

In the budget approved by the TWU Board of Regents on Friday, financial officials freed up $6.7 million to make market compensation adjustments for faculty and staff members. For faculty, this is the first adjustment of its kind since 2011. For staff, its the first since 2007.

The university had a compensation study with faculty and staff and hired a consultant to help with the work, said Brenda Floyd, vice president for finance and administration. The new salary structure is built off the market rates for jobs, which was based on national surveys of colleges and universities.

“This is a major jump — a major accomplishment, I believe,” Floyd told the board about the salary increases.

Staff will be brought up to salaries that are 82.6 percent of the market rate, and faculty members will be brought up to 95 percent of the market rate. This means another $2.9 million in staff salaries and benefits, and $3.7 million in salaries and benefits for faculty.

Even though faculty are getting a bigger chunk than staff, not everyone is happy about the changes, said Robert Neely, TWU provost.

“There are mixed reactions,” he said. “There are some faculty that are elated and sent very gracious emails; there are faculty that had hoped for more personally. In fact, there are 42 faculty who are not getting raises to their base salary, and the reason is they are already higher than the benchmark that we established.”

Faculty members were included in the discussion, though, Neely said, and served on committees for the project.

“In the process, there were two committees on the academic side that included faculty as members, so it was really a collaborative process,” he said.

The salary adjustments are funded mostly by unbudgeted reserves, Floyd said. They set aside $5 million for cost increases in 2014 and the market adjustments, so $3.5 million of that was used for the salary adjustments. Other fees and reductions in maintenance and operation costs, mainly the electricity bill, compiled the remaining money.

Overall, the university has budgeted almost $251 million of expenses for fiscal year 2015, with a surplus of $5.7 million. This is an increase of $4.2 million over last year, mainly because of the salary adjustments. The expected revenue is up by about $4 million as well.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.