Faculty Senate faces compression, inversion in salary distribution

Faculty Senate and administration work to increase faculty wages to competitive levels.

The Faculty Senate Policy on Faculty Salary Adjustments passed by the Senate would use $150,00 to increase faculty salaries to a level that is competitive with other University of Wisconsin schools and other four-year universities similar to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

The problem the Senate is facing is how to fairly distribute the money amongst the faculty.  Two of the problems associated with faculty salaries are compression and inversion.  Compression is the difference between salary of current faculty and newly established faculty.  Inversion is the difference in salary when new faculty members are hired at salaries higher than those of established faculty.

Mathematics professor Dr. James Swenson wrote the policy and acknowledges the problem is greater than the $150,000 the university currently has.

“One of the numbers we have is that it would take 3.5 million dollars to bring faculty salaries to the level that would be more appropriate to address issues like compression, inversion and market pay,” Swenson said.  “It’s a long term problem and I say that while recognizing and appreciating the administrations effort to find money to start addressing the problem.”

Splitting the money evenly between the faculties would result in a small amount that is not really beneficial to anyone.  Divided evenly the money would come to $69 per month before taxes, said geology professor J. Elmo Rawling.

“What some people would like to do is give a little to everybody,” Rawling said.  “$150,000 sounds like a big number, but $69 a month is a tank of gas.”

The policy states, “No more than one percent of the total funds available in a given fiscal year should be allocated to any one individual.”

Faculty raises normally come from the states budget and the faculty at UW-Platteville has not received a raise from the state in roughly ten years.