WASHBURN UNIVERSITY BOARD OF REGENTS
Budget/Finance Committee Meeting
January 31, 2006
Regents Present: Maggie Warren, chair, Nancy Paul, Ben Blair
Regents Present by Teleconference: Jim Roth, Bob Storey
Staff Present: Jerry Farley, Wanda Hill, David Monical, Bill Roach, Chris Leach, Rhonda
Thornburg, Russ Jacobs, Tom Ellis, Al Dickes, Travis Perry
Minutes of the January 4, 2006 meeting were approved as printed.
Fiscal Year 2007 Salary Program -
Regent Warren prefaced the discussion by saying a lot of review material had been distributed to the Board in advance of this meeting. At the last committee meeting the administration was asked to come back with a salary recommendation.
President Farley said the faculty and staff are the heart of the University and for the last six years or so we have been trying to become more competitive. In FY 2000 Washburn faculty salaries were 11.7% behind our peer institutions. In FY 2005 we were 7% behind. FY 2006 comparisons are not yet available for 2006.
President Farley noted we compete in the national market for faculty. Applicants generally first look at salaries, followed by health insurance and conditions at the institution. If we cannot compete the top candidate will go someplace else. He said around the country each institution develops a reputation and we want Washburn's image to be one of competitive salaries with qualified and committed faculty.
State budgets are rebounding this year. There will be increases in state funding and institutions will be able to focus on salaries this year.
A performance based salary pool of 5.5% was proposed.
Regent Storey asked how many faculty do not get any increase. President Farley said although no faculty members received a zero increase, a very small number of them received only a minimal increase. The salary distributions ranged from 1/2% to 9%. If they were not performing adequately an improvement plan would have been set in place and there would need to be a definite improvement. Regent Blair noted the performance also impacts the tenure process.
Regent Paul said in reviewing the salary analysis she noted the KBOR institutions rely heavily on instructors and graduate students while less than 3% of Washburn's faculty are at the instructor level. She said this is one of Washburn's shining stars and we should invest in it.
Regent Blair said we have established a long-term goal to increase the effectiveness and level of students at Washburn. To do that we need to attract excellent faculty. We all hate to see tuition and expenses increase but we need to keep pushing to keep up with salaries.
Regent Roth said because we give salaries based on performance, our more qualified faculty have gotten higher salaries and may not be behind other institutions. He asked if it is possible to quantify what our better faculty have received. President Farley said we will review salaries and see if this information can be extracted from the data.
In answer to Regent Roth's question, President Farley said a 1% salary increase will cost $449,500 and a 1% tuition increase provides revenue of $271,000.
Regent Warren said the real issue at this meeting is how much we should be putting in the salary pool to maintain a quality level of faculty and a quality education for our students.
President Farley said the budget is projecting no increase in revenue from enrollment growth this year. We know there will be utility increases, and funding will be necessary for scholarships, library subscriptions, and maintenance of software and internet connections, however, salaries are the number one priority this year.
Regent Warren said she visited with Regent Karen Lee, who was unable to attend today's meeting, and she was very supportive of the proposal.
It was moved and seconded to recommend Board approval of a 5.5% salary pool budget for FY 2007. Motion carried.
It was moved and seconded to recommend Board approval of the FY 2007 performance pay proposal. Motion carried.
President Farley indicated we would like to permit the deans and department heads to start working on performance evaluations and would like to be able to distribute salary schedules to them prior to the the March Board approval.
Regent Paul said every Board member has been provided the salary budget information and she encouraged members to contact Regent Warren, President Farley, or Vice President Hill to express any concerns or ask questions prior to the March Board meeting.
Next meeting -
President Farley said it would probably not be necessary to have another committee meeting prior to the March Board meeting unless it is needed to discuss recommendations for Bond Counsel.
Meeting was adjourned.