Full-time faculty to receive two percent raise
For the first time since July 2008, all full-time Towson faculty and staff will receive a two percent increase to their annual salary effective January 2013.
The Maryland General Assembly appropriated funds for the raise, according to Mark Behm, interim vice president for administration and finance and chief fiscal officer.
The raises are a relief to a number of faculty members, Behm said.
A faculty task force, commissioned by former-Provost Marcia Welsh, is also investigating salary compression at Towson and what the University can do to balance salaries.
Salary compression occurs when a faculty member, who has been with the University for five or six years, begins to make the same or less than a newly-hired faculty member.
“Let’s say we hired someone at $53,000 a year six years ago, they haven’t had a chance to get a raise,” Chairman of the Faculty Task Force of Salaries James Roberts said. “With the changing economy, it now costs $57,000 to get someone competitive.”
The task force released their preliminary findings and recommendations on salary compression Oct. 2.
“We’re finding evidence, but not absolute proof, of salary compression between people who have been here four, five and six years and people who have been hired one, two or three years ago,” Roberts said. “There is also a flattening out of the salaries between the associate professors and the professors, and sometimes the associates can even go above full-time professors.”
Salary compression is exacerbated in the College of Business and Economics and the College of Health Professions, Roberts said, because the areas are highly specialized, and many faculty members leave teaching to make more money elsewhere.
“We’ve had some [faculty members] leave, and we are in danger of having some leave,” he said. “From an institutional standpoint that’s why it is important for us to look into this, because ultimately the students are impacted, because it’s harder for us to keep good faculty members. If you get hired at any institution and they give you a salary that is competitive with the marketplace, but you just languish for several years, they say they can get more money somewhere else.”
In addition to looking at competitiveness in the field, Roberts said the task force studied gender differences as a factor in salary, although no evidence was found. The task force will soon be looking into racial differences as a possible factor.
The task force recommended that the University institutionalize the process of examining faculty salaries.
“Our first four recommendations say we want at University Senate committee to examine salaries every five or so years, and make that process institutionalized,” Roberts said. “Whether or not there can be a change, whether or not there’s money for change or whether change is warranted, I can’t comment on that yet.”
Sophomore Kyle Wert said that full-time faculty deserves the raises they’ll receive next semester.
“I think the ones that have been here longer should [get the raise] because it shows they are more dedicated to the University,” he said. “I feel like the professor should earn their raise, rather than getting it right off the bat.”