Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NFA response to half-million dollar increase in Student Services salary pool

This morning, the Las Vegas Sun broke the news that has been circulating on campus for a few weeks -- that despite a nearly 15% cut in University budget and a 4.6% cut in pay for most professional staff (and increased workload for the rest) -- the salary pool in Student Services increased by nearly a half a million dollars due to new positions and raises.

While we support and recognize the hard work of the Student Services staff, along with that of the entire campus workforce, the Nevada Faculty Alliance's UNLV chapter, guided by the principles of the AAUP's resolution on how institutions should respond to budget crises that require faculty and staff pay cuts or furloughs.

...faculty should (a) gain access to full information about institutional finances and all other strategically relevant data, ensuring that institutions open their books to shed light on the institution’s overall condition; (b) exercise a fuller voice in analyzing and making recommendations about budgets and strategic directions, opening the boardroom door to take a central role in institutional decision making; & (c) pursue measures that reverse the long standing trends and protect the core academic functions of higher education, opening up educational opportunity by reinvesting in educational expenditures.

The increased student enrollment means more work for everyone on campus -- from the faculty who are teaching extra courses and increasing enrollment caps to accommodate more students, to advising and support staff across campus who have heavier workloads while taking pay cuts, to the IT professionals who actually program and run the new enrollment system (and who also are taking pay cuts).

In times of financial difficulty for the entire state, when faculty staff are being asked to give back in terms of pay cuts and additional workload and when students are paying higher fees, it makes good fiscal sense for the administration to vet new positions, and promotions, through the Faculty Senate. This would provide additional oversight, help faculty understand why others are getting raises while we're taking pay cuts, and help keep the entire campus community focused on our educational and research mission.

Gregory Brown
President, UNLV Faculty Alliance

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