The University of Iowa recently announced that unit leaders have adjusted the schedule for faculty and staff pay raises following the adoption of a new budget model.
Unit leaders — deans and vice presidents — have determined whether salary increases will occur on either Jan. 1 or July 1, the beginning of a new fiscal year.
This change comes after the adoption of the new Collegiate Economic Analysis budget model, which UI officials have said gives unit leaders more control over their budgets.
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In an announcement, the UI said the new model gives unit leaders increased flexibility to choose a time for salary increases that work best for their needs and provides deans and vice presidents with more control over their respective budgets.
“Historically, annual salary increases for UI employees have occurred on July 1, but this year, the administration delayed salary decisions until January — with the exception of UI Health Care — to get a clearer picture of tuition revenue following the September enrollment count and state funding after the December meeting of the Iowa Revenue Estimating Conference,” the statement said.
After the December Revenue Estimating Conference meeting, the state Legislature and governor have a clearer picture of the state’s budget outlook and whether the budget will need to be adjusted once the legislative session begins in January.
In the last two fiscal years, the state Board of Regents’ universities have seen their budgets cut by more than $35 million. At the UI alone, cuts since fiscal 2016 have amounted to $16 million.
Earlier this year, following midyear budget cuts of nearly $5 million, the UI decided to delay pay raises for faculty and staff from July until January. The UI has endured back-to-back midyear budget cuts, prompting administrators to take actions such as halting several construction projects until Sept. 12 and closing several centers and institutes.
“Deans and vice presidents have each adopted either a Jan. 1 or a July 1 salary increase cycle,” the statement said. “Colleges or divisions that move salary increases to Jan. 1 will also adjust the timing of annual performance reviews, which will still be used to inform salary decisions.”
UI Human Resources will help to assist the transition, the statement said. Salary changes in the future will require approval from the UI administration.
Raising faculty salaries has been a priority for the UI in hopes of remaining competitive and retaining faculty, as salaries and resources have played a role in faculty resignations.
According to regents’ documents, 67 percent of UI faculty resignations in fiscal 2017 were for salary-related reasons. The UI allocated $4.8 million to increase compensation in 2017, the DI has previously reported.
UI interim Executive Vice President and Provost Sue Curry told the regents in April that the UI tends to hire junior faculty because of limited resources, but once they are able to gain tenure, they become more marketable to other institutions.
UI President Bruce Harreld told the DI in December 2017 that faculty salaries are a component in the university’s ability to compete with its peer institutions.
“… We’re competing in terms of quality, and programs, and support systems for our students, and faculty salaries and dorms — all the rest, against these other institutions,” he said.