Dissenters Need to MOVE ON; Biondi; University President Defends His Decision-Making on SLU Raises

Article excerpt

I read with interest recent commentaries from two faculty members at Saint Louis University complaining about reductions in the amount of salary increases some faculty received this year.

As president of SLU, our Board of Trustees continues to give me the final authority on reviewing, evaluating and approving all salary increases. The process that took place this year was no different than what has taken place for the past 26 years of my administration and for eight years in the administration of my predecessor Thomas Fitzgerald, S.J.

At the direction of the Board, the president is responsible for considering all of the comprehensive aspects for faculty performance teaching, research and service, including the faculty's contributions to help fulfill the University's Mission, as well as the president's vision to make SLU the finest Catholic, Jesuit university in the United States. SLU staff members also are evaluated for their performance in their respective positions, as well as their contributions to help fulfill our mission and vision.

In any year, salary increase adjustments are made upward or downward to recommendations provided by chairs, deans, directors, managers and vice presidents. That was the case again this year. Any adjustments are made after careful review and evaluation by appropriate administrators at all levels.

It is important to note that no one's salary was cut this year and that all of the faculty members who are complaining received salary increases, although they may not have received what they desired or what they think they deserved. Even one of the letter writers called the university's pay raises "generous."

Overall, Saint Louis University is providing approximately $13.4 million in salary increases this year. And, let's be clear: Out of SLU's more than 4,200 full-time faculty and staff, there are complaints from about 16 people, or just about one-third of 1 percent.

And since 15 of these faculty members come from the College of Arts and Sciences, it is noteworthy to mention that the median faculty salary increase in that college was 4. …