Senate Source

August 2011


Faculty Salary Increases Coming in October


President Yudof has authorized a 3% merit-based salary increase for UC faculty effective October 1, 2011. The increase will apply to all ladder-rank faculty who have received a positive merit review in the past four years, those at the Professor V and IX “barrier” steps who have had a satisfactory five year review, and those receiving satisfactory “no advancement” reviews at Associate and Full Professor ranks. The increase will be applied to both the base and off-scale components of salary, and to Above-Scale salaries. The plan also applies to non-represented academic appointees and non-represented staff making up to $200,000 annually. The increase for non-represented staff will be retroactive to July 1.


In an August 17 letter to campus chancellors outlining the plan, President Yudof says one of the program’s primary aims is to help campuses recruit and retain faculty, who are the source of UC’s academic and research quality.


Senate Chair Dan Simmons says the Senate is pleased with the increase, but is disappointed that more of the money was not directed into the scales. “This was a tough decision, but I’m glad we are moving forward,” he said. “Clearly, a 3% raise will not solve UC’s faculty recruitment and retention issues, but the amount will help offset recent salary decreases attributable to reinstated pension contributions.”


He said the Senate recognizes that the raises come at a time when students are facing an additional tuition burden, but stressed that the University must maintain competitive compensation for faculty and staff in order to protect its excellence.


Compensation studies indicate that average UC faculty salaries lag the “Comparison 8” group of universities by 11.2%, and the gap is even greater compared to the private institutions that are UC’s main competitors for faculty. In terms of total remuneration (cash compensation and benefits), UC was between 4% and 7% below the market average before accounting for the 2009-10 furloughs and the restart of contributions to UCRP in 2010.


The Academic Senate has frequently spoken of the need to increase the competitiveness of the published salary scales and has consistently urged that any money available for faculty salary increases should be directed to augmenting the salary scales.


In July 2007, the Board of Regents adopted a four-year plan to close the UC faculty salary gap, but abandoned the plan after only one year due to the escalating fiscal crisis. In November 2010, the Academic Council endorsed a resolution from a joint UCAP-UCFW-UCPB Subcommittee on Faculty Salaries, which called on UC to restart the effort. It recommended an immediate 2% range adjustment to the salary scales to compensate for the restart of UCRP contributions and a subsequent 5% increase in the form of a 3% range adjustment plus a 2% market adjustment.


President Yudof has long recognized the importance of increasing the competitiveness of UC faculty salaries; however, he indicated to the Senate that he wanted any salary adjustments to be based on a merit review, and would not accept the Senate’s preference for an across the board increase, based on the idea that each faculty member’s rank and step reflects an assessment of merit. After further discussion by Council and the Academic Assembly, the Senate recommended to the President in December that an increment be provided for faculty who have received a favorable merit review sometime in the past five years, as well as those at the Step V and IX barrier steps, applied to the salary scales but not to the off-scale increment. Although Council’s first choice was to apply increases to the salary scales across the board based on the individual’s rank and step, it lent its reluctant support for the plan’s restricted eligibility, based on the urgent need to address non-competitive salaries in the context of abnormal budgetary constraints.


Vice Provost for Academic Personnel Susan Carlson says that October 1 was chosen as the effective date in recognition of the complexities of summer salary for academic year faculty. “Payroll systems are not set up for this and it would have taken significant time for campus staff to make the salary increase retroactive, given the variety of summer salary funding sources and amounts,” she said. “APM 610-0-d also prohibits retroactive scale increases and was relevant to the decision.”


Chair Simmons: “The Senate believes that the published salary scales are, in fact, based on UC’s merit system. The scales and UC’s system of peer-review have been fundamental to UC excellence. We will continue to advocate that UC do everything in its power to restore the integrity of the merit system by bringing the salary scales closer to market reality and competitive relevance.”