Yesterday, the UW System Board of Regents unanimously approved a resolution seeking a 2 percent pay plan for faculty and staff in each of the two years of the upcoming 2017-19 state budget. I applaud the regents’ action and – as I said in my statement of support to the regents – I believe a pay increase for our faculty and staff must be our highest priority.
The regents’ 2 percent pay plan recommendation is exactly that: a recommendation. It will be submitted to the governor’s office for consideration, and we won’t know until the upcoming budget process unfolds whether it will be included or approved. But I am cautiously optimistic that the budget will include a pay plan at some level.
As important as a pay plan will be, we also are seeking to take charge of our future at UW-Eau Claire by finding ways to recognize those faculty and staff who contribute above and beyond to our university. Both the merit and equity working groups have been meeting intensively over the past several months and I look forward to their recommendations early in the new year. I appreciate so much their dedication during a very busy time of year.
In addition to the pay plan resolution, the regents approved the post-tenure review policy passed last month by our University Senate. They also approved our request for an increase of 2.5 percent in graduate and out-of-state tuition for the coming year. In-state and reciprocity tuition will continue to be frozen for the coming year.
I am grateful to the regents and UW System President Ray Cross for their support of a pay plan recommendation that recognizes the need to increase compensation for our hard-working and dedicated faculty and staff. The excellence of this university is directly attributable to the work our faculty and staff do on behalf of our students. I see this every day in every way – and I thank you for it!