The Committee sent their recommendation, approved by the Council, to the administration on matters pertaining to faculty compensation for the academic year 2013-2014.
While the Faculty Senators Council is cognizant of the financial pressures on the University and the uncertainty created by the rapid expansion of the Global Network University as well as the added demands that may result from the recent disaster at the NYU Langone Medical Center, we nevertheless note that the merit pool for faculty salary increases has failed to keep pace with the increased cost of living in the New York metropolitan area over the last decade. The average compounded rate of increase in faculty salaries averaged 2.55% yearly over the last ten years, while over the same period inflation averaged 2.77%. By comparison, NYU tuition increases averaged 4.96%.
Additionally, benefits continue to decline in value. There has been a significant shift of the burden of health care costs onto the employees as well as substantial increases in the rent on faculty housing. Tuition remission benefits have been decreased and younger faculty will receive less in retiree health care benefits.
Taken together, the failure of faculty salaries to keep up with inflation combined with the decrease in value of benefits have the potential to adversely affect faculty morale, retention and recruitment.
To offset the decline in real income for continuing faculty, the Faculty Senators Council recommended an increase of 5.3% in this year’s faculty salary pool, of which all faculty receive a minimum corresponding to the amount of the NYC cost-of-living index.
The Finance and Policy Planning Committee sent their recommendations to the administration on matters pertaining to faculty compensation for the academic year 2012-2013 in December. For a number of years the merit pool for faculty salary increases has failed to keep pace with the cost of living in the New York Metropolitan Area. During the last nine years, 2002-2011, continuing faculty salaries increased at an average compounded rate of 2.38% yearly.
At the same time period, inflation averaged 2.91% yearly (compounded). Thus, the standard of living of faculty at NYU (salaries adjusted for inflation in the NYC metropolitan area) has deteriorated by 6.20% since 2002. In comparison with NYU tuition increases, the relative decline in NYU faculty salaries is much more pronounced. In the period 2002-2011, tuition increased at an average rate of 5.08% per year (compounded), approximately 214% faster than the average yearly (compounded) rate of increase of continuing faculty salaries, which was 2.38%.
Additionally, the administration has shifted much more of the burden of health care costs onto its employees, while raising rents on faculty housing. Faculty housing rents have increased on the average between 6 and 7 percent yearly, more than twice as fast as faculty salaries. After a number of increases in health care premiums and deductibles repeatedly over a number of years, faculty are asked to pay 8% higher premiums in 2012-13 after a 10% premium increase in 2011-12. To offset the real income declines for continuing faculty, the FSC recommended an increase of 6.20%.
The Committee provided a presentation of these recommendations at the Senate Financial Affairs meeting in early December.