Penn State Hopes to Thaw Faculty Raises This Year

For Penn State faculty, skies may seem a bit more blue. Last year, in an attempt to keep student tuition down, faculty were denied salary raises. With the 2010-2011 proposed budget, the university plans to end the freeze.

Proposed raises are not all encompassing, rather they are based on individual merit. Assistant Director of Public Information Annemarie Mountz explains, “There is no set amount given to all employees. Some people may get a very small raise — or even no raise at all — while others may get a larger than average raise…”

A larger than average raise is somewhere in the realm of 3%. Mountz breaks the budget allocations down like this, “Any potential raises this coming fiscal year are dependent on several factors, including the appropriation we receive from the state and the Trustees’ approval of our annual budget.”

This year, the university is hoping to get a 3.9% increase, or around $360.9 million, in state funding. StateCollege.com cites the fact that this is one of the lowest increase requests in 50 years. While nothing is official until the board convenes in July, President Spanier believes the raises are likely.

Last year, similar actions were taken at colleges and universities across the nation. Just take a look at Indiana University. Our fellow Big Ten school had a similar freeze on faculty salary. However, unlike Penn State, Indiana plans on continuing the freeze this upcoming year. Then there is the case of other institutions, like Arizona State University, who opted for more cutbacks and layoffs.

For some, like the students, this word “raise” may leave a sour taste in the mouth considering the fact that while faculty are getting raises, our tuition is expected to increase this coming year. But how happy can Happy Valley be when students are hit with raises and faculty are not?

How do you feel about the idea of faculty raises? Are they really necessary this year?

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Abby Zwillinger

I’m a Junior majoring in Labor Studies and Employment Relations. I have lived on Long Island my entire life, and think NYC is the greatest place in the world. Life is too short, so if you want a cupcake, have a cupcake.

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