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Appalachian to receive portion of $5 million to fund faculty raises

Appalachian to receive portion of $5 million to fund faculty raises

This year, North Carolina provided $5 million for raises across the University of North Carolina system for employees exempt from the State Personnel Act. EPA employees include a variety of instructional and administrative faculty and staff.

The Board of Governors’ Finance and Budget Committee Vice Chair Scott Lampe said of the $5 million allocated to the system, Appalachian State University is receiving $301,341 to be divided among the 1,335 EPA employees at the university.

Lamp said the last pay increase was 1.2 percent in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
Faculty Senate Chair Andy Koch said despite the pay increase, when accounting for inflation, the average faculty member has seen a pay decrease of 8-9 percent over the past six years.

“If you were to give every faculty member in the UNC system a raise of $1,000 it would amount to about $30 million,” Koch said. “The money from the state is not enough to fund raises in any significant way.”

Koch said there are ways to fund raises with money that comes directly into the university.

“If we were to let in 500 more freshman, we would get enrollment growth money from the state.” Koch said.  “We can take that money and hire more faculty.

However, the state may, as they have in the past, give the campuses some discretion by allowing some of that money to be used to fund raises.”

Koch said this forces the university to choose between keeping class sizes down and course variety up and giving needed raises to faculty members.

“I’ve been here 19 years and seen my class sizes more than double in that time,” Koch said. “At some point, budget cuts affect the quality of the education.”

Koch also said if a faculty member leaves the university, their salary will be put into a lapse salary pool that is used to fund raises.

Story: Carl Blankenship, News Reporter

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    Dr. Michael C. BehrentAug 26, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Thanks to Andy Koch for clarifying these issues. But if allocated monies do not “fund raises in any significant way,” and if the decade long trend is towards declining salaries, is the article’s title not misleading–or at the very least, does it not side with the Board of Governors’ view over Koch’s view, when little evidence supports the former? The headline gives the mistaken impression that meaningful raises will occur, though it seems very clear that this entire initiative is designed to give the impression that the BOG cares about raises–and thus education–when in fact it does not–or, in any case is on a warpath to dismantle the university as we know it. I’m not sure the interests of journalistic objectivity–a worthy goal–are well served by emphasizing one side (and the most disingenuous one, at that) of a story of this kind.

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