Monday, March 7, 2011

Nevada leading the nation (and not in a good way)

From today's Inside Higher Education two important stories of direct relevance to this week's news:

A new study of faculty salaries shows faculty compensation at public institutions has been stagnant.

The median base salary increase for faculty members in 2010-11 was 1.1 percent, with increases of 0.0 percent at four-year public institutions and 2.0 percent at private institutions, according to a report being released today by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.For public institutions, this is the second year in a row where the median increase is no increase at all.

In Nevada, of course, faculty compensation (in the aggregate state cost and in average faculty compensation has fallen back, not even remained stagnant, in that period).

Secondly, Nevada is leading the nation (and not in a good way) again in considering exigency according to Moody's Investors Service:

Moody's Investors Service is today releasing a report predicting that the coming years will see more public colleges declare "financial exigency," a condition of such dire financial danger that faculty groups acknowledge it may justify steps as severe as layoffs of tenured faculty members. Moody's makes its prediction on the basis of continued state budget cuts -- without additional federal stimulus money to minimize the impact of cuts. Moody's rates colleges' credit-worthiness, and the ratings can have a significant impact on the cost of borrowing through bonds. The report notes the fears of some colleges that a declaration of financial exigency might result in a lower bond rating.

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