UNF Raises Go to Top, Not Profs; Administrators Get Largest Hikes; Faculty Salaries near Last in State

By Aasen, Adam | The Florida Times Union, May 23, 2009 | Go to article overview
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UNF Raises Go to Top, Not Profs; Administrators Get Largest Hikes; Faculty Salaries near Last in State


Aasen, Adam, The Florida Times Union


Byline: ADAM AASEN

Faculty at the University of North Florida haven't gotten a pay raise in three years, their average pay is nearly last among state institutions, while UNF deans and administrators are pocketing hefty increases.

The average pay for UNF's faculty ranked 10th out of 11 state universities last year. When considering total compensation, including benefits, UNF is dead last.

UNF deans and administrators, however, have received salary increases: from 20 percent to 50 percent in some cases, and some of that in the past two years.

Faculty members have received about a 12 percent increase in pay since 2005 but nothing in the past three years. And they're not happy.

UNF's faculty union has been working for about a year on an expired contract. Faculty members want a 2.5 percent increase while UNF said no raises are possible.

Henry Thomas, president of the United Faculty of Florida's UNF chapter, said the dean raises are part of what he calls "the AIG mentality" at UNF of just rewarding those at the top.

"Those are things ... we do to operate just like these banks," he said.

If it goes on much longer, Thomas said, there will be a massive exodus of faculty leaving for better-paying jobs.

UNF President John Delaney said he wishes he could pay the faculty more but there isn't enough money after paying all of the school's other expenses. Other Florida state universities have given raises but also laid off faculty, something Delaney said he hasn't had to do.

If faculty members want to go to other schools, Delaney said he's not worried.

"Part of the problem is, where do they go?" he said. "The economy is horrible all over."

AVERAGE SALARY 'MISLEADING'

In 2008-09, UNF faculty made on average $62,600 a year, according to the American Association of University Professors. At the top is the University of Florida at $85,300.

UNF employs far fewer full professors than most of its state university peers, only about 15 percent of its faculty while UF has about 35 percent full professors.

For that reason, Delaney said the average faculty salary is "misleading." He advocates using a "weighted average" that would assume all the schools had the same number of full, associate and assistant professors and instructors. Under that number crunching, UNF moves up two spots to eighth among state university faculties.

Thomas said UNF should be at least in the top five, behind UF and Florida State and close to the University of Central Florida and University of South Florida.

Delaney wouldn't take a position on where UNF's salaries should rank.

When you consider size of the institutions, cost of living and the fact that UNF doesn't have a law school or medical school, Delaney said maybe UNF's faculty is paid appropriately.

OVERPAID OR UNDERPAID?

Faculty members said they're upset that deans get salary increases from 2007 to 2009 when they were told there is no money for raises. The last faculty raise was approved in fiscal 2006 and went into effect in 2007.

Neal Coulter (dean of computing, engineering and construction), Pamela Chally (dean of Brooks College of Health) and Larry Daniel (dean of education and human services) saw their salaries increase by 20 percent, 38 percent and 51 percent, respectively, from 2005 to 2009. Coulter and Chally now make $170,000; Daniel earns $150,000.

Delaney said these were special circumstances. He said Coulter had retired and UNF needed to pay him more so he would stay until they found a replacement. Chally got a raise because she received other job offers and UNF increased Daniel's salary because it was "way out of whack with the market."

Cheryl Frohlich, former UNF faculty union president and a business professor, said it's unfair to adjust administrators' pay because of the market without also adjusting faculty pay.

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