Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce : Nevada faculty pay is lagging

The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce report issued this week (really a modest update of the same report the LVCC has issued now three times since 2008) again finds that Nevada higher education instructional faculty and staff are paid below the national average for higher ed instructional faculty -- and that the gap has widened since 2008. According to the NFA analysis of the report's findings,  the Nevada higher education faculty salary average fell 1.1% between 2008 and 2010, before the latest round of furloughs (and the anticipated next round of across-the-board salary reductions) are calculated. 

The Chamber finds that
higher education instruction [is paid] 91 percent of the national average, a decline from last year’s 95 percent as the number of instructors fell from 3,600 in the prior year to 3,400 in 2009.... Nevada higher education – instructional employees [rank] 34th in the nation, a drop from 30th in the nation in 2008. 
Moreover this study does include benefits in its calculation. For Nevada faculty, over 90% of whom do not participate  in an "employer-pay" retirement plan, benefits -- even prior to the significant reductions in health coverage -- already earned benefits comprising a significantly lower percentage of total compensation (21%) than the national average for higher ed faculty (27%, according to the American Association of University Professors annual report) which is due, in part, to Nevada not paying into Social Security for its faculty and other public service workers.

And with another round of across-the-board pay cuts of 5% all but certain in the coming biennial budget, Nevada is clearly losing its competitive position in the market for talented researchers and teachers.
As we have remarked earlier, Nevada should be supporting quality, affordable higher education not out of generosity but self-interest.

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