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Decrease in state funding is linked to the decrease in average credit hours, decrease in enrollment and changes in state revenue.

VSU explores faculty salary increase via study

An ongoing study into the level of salaries earned by faculty members at VSU is nearing completion.

Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia has overseen the study, which aims to help officials from state and local governments achieve their goals.

The study was originated at the request of VSU’s administration.

Presented in a VSU Senate Faculty meeting in late January, one of the most salient findings of this study to this point was that VSU lags behind comparable institutions, such as The University of West Georgia and Columbus State University, in terms of faculty salaries.

For example, excluding the Langdale College of Business Administration and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, VSU’s minimum base salary for the remaining colleges ranged from 3.5 percent to 11.6 percent lower in comparison to similar institutions.

Furthermore, when it came to average base salary, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences was the only college not below the average of those similar institutions previously mentioned.

However, not all salaries are created equal.

“The university looks into performance for adjustment of salaries,“ said Dr. Robert Smith, VSU’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Despite VSU lagging in salaries for some colleges, Dr. Smith is confident in the plan the university has to tackle these challenges.

The central components of the plan are to look at the data when it’s fully established; address egregious cases, such as the College of the Arts being 11.63 percent below minimum base salary; and use existing funds within the budget to make proper adjustments.

Faculty Senate President Dr. Eric Howington said that VSU lagging behind other institutions isn’t necessarily a local problem, but rather a “problem built over the last decade,” pointing to the state legislature.

Dr. Smith said the budget for the fiscal year won’t be known until July of this year.

“We have a pretty good idea of what the budget will be,” he said.

The study is just one phase of this project. Once the study is completely finalized, the next step is to implement a new classification system for all academic faculty positions. This would mean compartmentalizing various departments into more concentrated groupings.

Dr. Smith hinted to this when he said one of the challenges in dealing with this problem is enacting the right compensation for the right classification.

In addition, a recommended compensation plan for academic faculty positions will also be created.

Dr. Smith said that by a year from now, the entire process that started with the study should be complete.

Written by Grant Palmer, Staff Writer. Photo by Bryce Ethridge, Content Editor.

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