Finance & Policy Planning
Examine and analyze faculty salaries, working conditions, long-range issues and other relevant finance matters, as determined by the Committee and the Council.
As requested by the Committee, our Council submits the following comments on the 2016-17 budget.
Last year we stated an overriding principle to guide our process of reviewing any budget matters. We would like to reiterate that it holds today and add to it.
As continuing contract faculty under various contract terms and status, we feel that any Annual Merit Increase factors referenced in determining the increase, such as productivity measurements, administrative responsibilities, and/or service activities, should be directly correlated with sound and competitive pedagogical guidelines that sustain and expand the reputation of this global University in all of its Schools.
we are requesting that Professional Development Funds be specifically designated on an annual basis in a separate budget item to support continuing faculty contributions to the university and their ability to stay current in their respective academic fields.
In the spirit of transparency we request that both AMI and PDF budget allocations be communicated to all of the faculty as well as the rationale for their per capita distribution.
In preparation for this year’s recommendations, we conducted a survey of all continuing full time faculty in all schools, including Abu Dhabi and Shanghai.The summary results of that survey are attached to this request. Based on this survey which collected 851 responses or about 32% of all continuing faculty and close to 40% or more from most of the schools, we have prepared the following recommendations.
- Annual Merit Increase: 2.5%, clear correlation between defined merit and salary, transparency
Survey Summary: Last year we recommended a formula for AMI directly related to inflation and cost of living, along with a review for compression issues.This year is no different. Our concerns, based on the survey is that the definition of a “merit” based salary increase seems to be unclear and ill-defined across the university, and that faculty are not satisfied with their current base compensation. 48% expressed dissatisfaction and only 31% expressed satisfaction with the remainder being neutral. 52% of faculty believe there is or may be a compression problem. A majority 53% felt the AMI did not adequately compensate them on an annual basis.
The majority responded that the following factors should be considered in the annual merit review process:
- 83% Collaborative work
- 82% Service to the University
- 80% Administrative responsibilities
- 80% Creative additions to course content and delivery
- 68% Research activity
- 66% Outside activities that promote the School/university
- 57% Student evaluations
- 57% Student engagement
- 50% Peer evaluations
Recommendation: Based on these findings we are requesting a 2.5% annual increase budget with an additional specific allocation for professional development. Given the wide range and distribution of professional development funds available in all the schools, switching to a percentage basis would place more equity in the administration of these funds and lend a clearer definition to the policy for the use of these funds. The professional development fund could be further defined by allocating a portion for well-defined merit factors or achievements tied to job descriptions and contract terms and a remaining portion for equal distribution at a minimum level to support excellence in performing at the highest standard expected by the Schools.The professional funds would also save the University the required benefit costs associated with a similar salary increase.
Another factor that weighed heavily in our request was the fact that organized labor has secured a 3% increase. While we understand, sympathize and support the need for the university to tackle the larger issue of affordable education, we also strongly feel our professional continuing faculty should be compensated at least to the level of organized contracts.
Equally important to this AMI request is the recommendation for more transparency in the process for determining and distributing the AMI. The question of “merit” continues to be widely debated at the School level. While we recognize that merit can be defined in each School differently, our concern is for the adequate communication of those definitions at the continuing faculty level as well as the clear correlation between what is “merit”, how it is measured and how to translate those factors into a salary increase. The Survey points to faculty’s lack of confidence with regards to the AMI process.
- Request for Professional Development: specific budget, policy, procedure and transparency.
Last year we recommended a specific budget for professional development. This year, the survey results suggest we need a clearer commitment to professional development.
- While 48% indicated they had a professional development budget, 7 % said they didn’t have one and 45% indicated they “didn’t know if they had a budget” for professional development.
- Over 61% of the faculty did not know if there was a budget to reimburse them for any necessary updating of professional credentials.
- 42% indicated sufficient resources to do their best in the classroom; 27% indicated they were not.
- 58% felt they were given full support to be intellectually challenged in their work.
If our faculty feel they work in an intellectually challenging and supportive environment, how can we not support their professional development in a way that is meaningful, tangible and public? If we claim to be in a competitive environment as a global university, how can we not support our faculty to continually update their thinking and teaching strategies?
Recommendation: We are requesting a minimum Professional Development allocation of $2,500 for each continuing faculty member in all schools and not less than what each School may have allocated in previous years.
We strongly reiterate last year’s request to specifically allocate a budget for professional development in all schools and to fully explain the budget, how funds may be used, who is eligible and for how much.
This should be a fully transparent policy and procedure for all continuing faculty.
The faculty is clearly engaged, but not informed. By not specifically allocating a professional development fund in all schools, we invite the perception that some faculty are valued over others. And, if that holds true, the follow-up question is necessarily, “why”.
- Training and Development: more budget targeted at diversity
Given the results of the November 18, 2015 Listening session and the concern for diversity and inclusion at all the campuses in the United States, we surveyed our faculty on their desire for additional training to adequately prepare for the ever changing issues around diversity and inclusion. The majority of the faculty fully support more training for managing diversity issues in the classroom, more budget for hiring diverse faculty and more scholarships for diversity in our student population.
Continuing Faculty Senators Council Voice
As we approach completion of our second year as a Council, we view the opportunity to share best practices with each other and offer our voice in the governance of the University to be a golden opportunity for managing this ever complex, global university. It is with this intent that we offer our recommendations for consideration in the 2016-17 budget.
Report and Comments on Faculty Budget for 2016-17 (March 10, 2016)