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Compensation group proposes funding package


A University committee will recommend that Carolina combine more state funds with increased tuition and private dollars to help close the gap between faculty compensation here and at Carolina's peer universities.

The recommendations from the Committee on Faculty Salaries and Benefits will go to the Board of Trustees in a special meeting Oct. 28. If approved by the board, they will go to General Administration as Carolina's proposal to be included in a UNC systemwide review requested by the N.C. General Assembly.

The committee will propose that the state commit to a target of 5.5 percent as an annual increase over four of the next five years to go to faculty compensation. The increase would be 3 percent in the first year (2000-2001).

The 5.5 percent target represents the average increase in state support from 1997 to 1999 for faculty salaries at three of Carolina's traditional peers -- the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (projected) and the University of Virginia. The state raised Carolina faculty members' salaries by 4 percent in 1997 and by 3 percent in 1998 and 1999. The national average is 4.8 percent.

On tuition, the proposal calls for increases of:

* $500 per year for the next three years for full-time, in-state undergraduates, a total increase of $1,500.

* $500 per year for the next four years for full-time, out-of-state undergraduates, a total increase of $2,000.

* $500 per year for the next four years for full-time in-state graduates (excludes professional schools), a total increase of $2,000.

* $500 per year for the next four years for full-time out-of-state graduates (excludes professional schools), a total increase of $2,000.

The tuition hike was recommended with the understanding that at least 30 percent of generated income would go to financial aid for students, that undergraduate and graduate tuition for in-state students would remain in the bottom 25 percent compared to rates charged by Carolina's peers, that undergraduate and graduate tuition for out-of-state students would be in the median range compared to rates charged by Carolina's peers and that the University will aggressively educate prospective students and their families about financial aid opportunities.

The recommended tuition increases are higher than three of four hikes first considered by the committee. That first proposal had tuition increasing by $500 over five years for in-state undergraduate, $1,350 for out-of-state undergraduate, $1,500 for in-state graduate and $2,550 for out-of-state graduate.

Ed Samulski, chemistry chair, said a larger increase was needed to be realistic in the face of what Carolina could expect in increased state support. He noted that the state had passed faculty raises of only 3 percent in 1998 and 1999 despite "bumper" years for the N.C. economy. He also said the state will be hard pressed to raise faculty salaries substantially given Hurricane Floyd relief needs.

"I don't want to build this on a house of cards," Samulski said.

And economics Chair David Guilkey said the median family income of current Carolina students -- $70,000 -- indicated that most families should be able to afford a tuition increase.

"People who come to this school are not poor relatives of the people of this state," Guilkey said.

According to Shirley Ort, associate vice chancellor and director of the Office of Financial Aid, research indicates that tuition increases don't deter students from going to college provided that increased grants offset the hike.

Faculty Chair Richard "Pete" Andrews said a key to the proposal's success would be making sure that prospective students who qualify academically but need financial help know that aid would be available.

"We're committed to marketing that as a basic principle to every child who wants to come here," Andrews said.

The third piece of the proposal -- private dollars to fund professorships -- calls for University Advancement to raise enough money to generate endowment income of

$1 million each year beginning in fiscal year 2001-02 and running through 2004-05. That income would go toward professorships.

The proposal's breakdown by revenue source would be: state, 65 percent; tuition, 30 percent; and private, 5 percent.

Carolina officials see closing the faculty compensation gap as critical to recruiting and retaining top faculty members.

As dictated by the systemwide study, Carolina has identified 15 schools as peer institutions, including five privates and its four traditional public counterparts: Berkeley, Virginia, Michigan and the University of California at Los Angeles.

Carolina lags behind all four when it comes to average salary and benefits offered to a full professor. The University paid an average of $104,700 in salary and benefits to a full professor in 1998-99. By comparison, Virginia, Carolina's closest peer campus geographically, paid $117,400.


1998-99 faculty compensation

(excludes medical schools)

University of California - Berkeley

Full professor $130,800

Associate professor $87,700

Assistant professor $73,200

University of California - Los Angeles

Full professor $128,200

Associate professor $84,100

Assistant professor $70,400

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Full professor $116,900

Associate professor $85,200

Assistant professor $69,200

University of Virginia

Full professor $117,400

Associate professor $81,700

Assistant professor $64,600

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Full professor $104,700

Associate professor $78,000

Assistant professor $61,400



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