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Faculty senate discuss salary proposal

As the year winds down, faculty senate is focusing on a faculty salary proposal for the next academic year.

The 2008-2009 faculty salary proposal, headed by the faculty welfare committee, was discussed among senators at yesterday’s meeting.

This proposal is a resolution guiding faculty senate members toward how to increase the salaries of University professors to bring them closer to the average salaries of other Ohio public institutions.

The faculty salary proposal consists of four parts describing a proposal to increase the salaries of the University’s professors.

In this faculty senate proposal, a history of how professors have been paid in the past is outlined, as well the current pay of professors, the actual proposal details and future considerations to be taken.

“This is a complex matter,” said University Provost Shirley Baugher.

Currently, the University’s full-time faculty have the lowest salary and fringe benefits among the “four corners” University system.

The four corners university system refers to a new university system of Ohio comprising Bowling Green, Kent State, Miami University (Ohio) and Ohio University as a group. These universities are judged to share similar missions, performance and state funding.

“This is a matter that needs attention and it is not acceptable for Bowling Green to be so far behind other Ohio public universities,” said Alden Craddock, a professor of teaching and learning.

The University’s full-time faculty salaries have been ranked 11 out of the 12 Ohio public universities for 10 years now.

For example, an associate professor at the University is paid $69,687 on average compared to the $73,225 a professor of the same ranking at Miami University (Ohio) is paid.

Craddock shared a power-point presentation outlining remedies to fix this problem.

One possible solution is to have a one-time increase of 11.75 percent to the nine month salaries of full-time instructional faculty, he said. According to the proposal, this would help come closer to the average salaries of the other four corners universities.

To address the problem of the University faculty having the lowest fringe benefits, the proposal suggests a 44 percent average dollar per person or a 6.43 percent of average salary increase for full-time instructional faculty.

Fringe benefits include, but are not limited to: retirement, medical insurance, dental insurance, medical combined with dental, worker’s compensation and other services.

But when looking at numbers concerning salaries and fringe benefits of University professors, Art Samel, a geography professor, believes it is necessary to take other factors into consideration.

“You have to look at the differences between various departments at [the four corners schools]. For instance, I’m a geography professor, but what is the geography department like at another school?,” asked Samel. “What about schools that have colleges of law, engineering and medicine? Are those numbers taken into consideration when looking at salaries compared to Bowling Green?”

Craddock said other universities’ extra schools, such as medical and law, were not taken into consideration when comparing faculty salaries.

The faculty salary proposal was passed in yesterday’s meeting.

The faculty senate plans to discuss the issue of professors being paid less than other Ohio public universities more in depth next fall.

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