Report of the Committee on the

Economic Status of the Faculty

 

Recommendation-2003

 

1.   Reformulate and Empower (or Disband) the Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty.

 

A.  The Faculty Senate Should Draft a Written Mandate for the Committee

 

ESOF is guided by a shared memory of previous reports and the personalities of the particular committee members. The Faculty Senate should provide a clear written mandate that specifies the primary responsibilities of the committee. The Senate should regularly communicate to ESOF priorities and/or issues to be specifically addressed that do not fall within the general mandate.

 

B.  The Chair of ESOF should be a member of the Faculty Senate

 

Information needs to flow between the Faculty Senate and ESOF. The best way to insure this is for the Chair of ESOF to be a member of the Faculty Senate or sit as a special member of the Faculty Senate on issues of the faculty’s economic status.

 

C.  The Chair of ESOF should be the faculty representative to the Board of Trustee’s Finance Committee

 

This move clarifies that ESOF is the faculty representative in budgetary matters. In addition, the

Chair of ESQF or a committee member should be included on any committees created by the

Faculty Senate or administrators that address issues of the faculty’s economic status.

 

D.  ESOF Should Be the Locus for all Information, Reports, and Activities Affecting the Economic Status of the Faculty

 

There have been a number of separate initiatives that have been generated by other University departments and organizations that affect the economic status of the faculty; however, these activities do not get looped through ESOF. Examples include the Child Care Center, Faculty Housing Program, and Dr. Jabbra’s outside consultant study on faculty compensation. Except for visiting with the consultant doing the faculty compensation study, ESOF has not received information on these programs and has not analyzed their overall impact on the faculty’s economic status. For example, ESOF does not know the extent to which the report from Dr. Jabbras outside consultants has been factored into the compensation package of the faculty. We need integrated information in order to address issues of economic status in a holistic manner. ESOF should be “the point of the spear” for issues affecting the quality of life for faculty.

E.  The Faculty Senate Should Initiate a Process to Standardize Annual Increases to the Salary Pool

 

The current approach, where the President announces the increase in the salary pool voted on by the Board of Trustees, creates needless uncertainty and dissatisfaction. Instead, the Senate needs to lead an effort to resolve and standardize many salary practices. For example, we believe there should be default positions of the Board of Trustees that (1) the University use the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ unadjusted year to year statistics on changes in the consumer product index for Los Angeles County as the benchmark for changes in the cost of living; (2) The University should commit to using the above-mentioned CPI change as the annual increase for satisfactory performance (general increase). The only reasons for advocacy would be in regard to merit increases, new initiatives, or changes to current practices. This approach makes much of ESOF’s current work unnecessary, and focuses the committee on valuable coordination of activities and novel initiatives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Analysis and Commentary on Committee Recommendations-2002

 

 

1.   Compensation Recommendations

 

1.1 Adjustment for “Adequate” Performance 2.7% (general increase)

 

There are two parts to this recommendation and the rationale we provided. First, we recommended that “the increase for ‘adequate or satisfactory’ performance be tied to the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the previous year.” We base this on the claim that ‘those whose performance is adequate should not lose ground to inflation.” We then documented that in the two-year period 200 1-02, the CPI increased over 7 percent while the University increase for adequate performance was 5 percent. “Hence, satisfactory perforrriers lost over 2% in purchasing power in two years.” (ESOF, 2002)

 

The second part of our recommendation was that the adjustment for 2003 be set at 2.7 percent

because that was the inflation rate for the 12-month period ending February 2002 for the Los

Angeles-Riverside-Orange County area as reported by the United States Bureau of Labor

Statistics (BLS).

 

The Academic Vice President’s letter to the faculty, dated 3/11/03, announces

a salary pool increase for 2003 of 1 percent for adequate performance.

 

Incidentally, President Lawton’s letter to the faculty, dated 2-20-03, states that the southern

California inflation rate in 2002 was “2.2 percent.” Thus the Board used an inflation rate that is

0.5  percent lower than our BLS number and it does not match that rate in determining the general

increase.

 

The University fails to provide a wage that allows satisfactory

performers to maintain their current standard of living.

1.2 Merit Increase                                                      2.3%

 

ESOF has consistently requested a 2.3 percent merit increase above the increase in the cost of living:

 

“Other than the two promotions achievable by a faculty member, merit increases are the primary method of recognizing and rewarding the contributions productive faculty make to the University. An annual average merit increase of 2.3% would allow a faculty member to double her/his purchasing power by the end of 30 years of service.” (ESOF, 2002)

 

We also noted that the equity pool increase in 2001 was 1.2 percent and in 2002 was 1.5 percent.

 

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At the same time, the increase in the CPI was 3.55 percent in 2001 and 3.6 percent in 2002. Since the general increase did not reach the level of increase in the CPI, a portion of merit was needed to compensate for increases in the cost of living. We noted that, in 2001, “a faculty member with a merit 1 increase (1.2%+2.5% = 3.7%) is barely ahead of the increase in the CPI (3.55%). A faculty member with a merit 1 increase has a 0.15% boost in purchasing power.” Furthermore, “in 2002, a faculty member earning a merit 1 increase (1 .5%+2.5% 4%) would be 0.4% ahead of the CPI increase (3.6%). ESOF believes this is insufficient merit compensation.” (ESOF, 2002) Hence, the “real” increase in the equity pool was therefore considerably less than the University reports.

 

The President’s letter to the faculty also announces the salary increase for 2003:

 

“The board also approved a 2.5 percent salary pool increase,

which includes equity increases, for faculty and staff.”

 

This is significant because the 2.5 percent total increase in the pool, which includes merit increases, fails to match the rate of inflation reported by the BLS.

 

Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers (2.7), there is no equity increase this

year and a net loss to the aggregate earning power of the faculty of 0.2 percent.

1.3 Summer Salary Increase                                                  5.0%

 

Summer salaries are currently set at 8.5% of average in rank for the immediately preceding academic year. Since the overall salary increase in 2002 was 5.0%, we argued that summer salaries should rise accordingly in order to maintain the 8.5% level.

 

We have not yet received summer contracts and are unable to evaluate the response.

1.4 Retirement Contribution (403b)                         9.5%

 

This was not really a recommendation. We reported the University’s contribution when matched by a faculty member’s contribution.

1.5 Compensation for Independent Study               0.375% of average annual salary by
and Tutorials                                                              rank per student

 

We pointed out that ‘faculty are often called upon to offer independent studies and tutorials to both undergraduate and graduate students. These can prove to be extremely time-consuming for

 

 

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faculty, who must select readings, supervise projects, review and grade work, and hold regular individual consultations with students.” Furthern~ore, “while the University receives tuition for Independent Study/Tutorials, LMU currently has no mechanism for compensating faculty for their involvement in such projects. . . .“ (ESOF, 2002)

 

The University has taken no action on this recommendation.

 

 

1.6 Summer School Enrollment Averaging

 

Our recommendation was “the determination of whether a course has the number of students necessary for full compensation of the faculty member be made by averaging the enrollments in all courses taught by that faculty member in a given summer school session.” We argued that faculty are penalized by a pay cut when courses have fewer than the minimum six students but receive no additional compensation for enrollments above the minimum. We argued, “this is inequitable, since the Summer School Office receives all of the benefits of an over-enrolled course while a faculty member suffers all of the reduced income of an under-enrolled course.” We also offered an example to illustrate the inequity: “a faculty member could have 12 students in one summer course and five in another, and that person would have the compensation for the second course reduced by 1/6.” Note we did NOT ask that faculty receive extra compensation if their enrollments were over the minimum number. We simply asked that enrollment numbers be averaged “so that a faculty member is only penalized for under-enrolled courses when the average for all courses taught in a given session by the particular faculty member is below the minimum number required.” (ES OF, 2002)

 

The University has taken no action on this recommendation.

 

 

1.7 Minimum Annual Salary Targets

 

For the past two years, ESOF has made a recommendation “minimum annual salaries by rank on the basis of comparable salaries at other institutions and housing affordability in the Los Angeles area.” The recommendations for last year were:

            Assistant Professor                              $55,000

            Associate Professor                            $93,000

(thirteen years of total service)

            Professor                                            $117,000
            (eighteen years of total service)

 

We argued that the ability to afford housing is important in attracting and retaining faculty.

 

 

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Furthermore, “proximity to campus not only increases the faculty’s commitment to community in general, but also increases opportunities for faculty involvement with campus events and provides students with greater access to faculty.” (ESOF, 2002) Our numbers, which converged with comparable salaries at other institutions, would allow assistant professors “to afford the average home sold in Carson, Gardena, Inglewood, and Hawthorne,” associate professors in their tenth year of service “to afford the average home sold in Torrance, Culver City, and portions of West Los Angeles,” and full professors in their twentieth year of service “to afford the average home sold in the immediate area around campus” (ESOF, 2001)

 

The University has taken no action on this recommendation.

 

 

2.   Procedural Recommendations

 

2.1 Information Coordination Policy

 

It is recommended that the Faculty Senate implement procedures to ensure that information regarding all campus initiatives pertaining to the economic status of the faculty is made available to ESOF in a timely manner.

 

ESOF has received no information on other economic initiatives on campus. Thus, we are unable to ascertain the extent to which this recommendation has been enacted.

 

 

2.2 Report Dissemination to the Board of Trustees

 

We recommended “that the Chair of ESOF and the President of the Faculty Senate present ESOF’s annual report to the finance committee of the Board of Trustees.” (ESOF, 2002) There was no direct presentation from ESOF to the finance committee.

 

The University has taken no action on this recommendation.

 

 

2.3 Process Transparency

 

We recommended “that the Board of Trustees provide a written rationale for the decisions they make regarding the proposals put forth by ESOF.” We explained that “feedback from the Trustees and other relevant decision-makers” would be helpful “in order to understand what information is considered, how various rationales (not just ours) are viewed, and what the overall basis is for decisions so that we can make responsible contributions to the process.” (ESOF, 2002)

 

President Lawton, when presented with the ESOF report by Senate President McCullough and

 

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ESOF Chair Combs last spring, agreed that ESOF should receive feedback on the decision making process, although he was not sure that he could guarantee that the feedback would be written or as comprehensive as we might perhaps wish.

 

 

The University has taken no action on this recommendation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Key Economic Data

 

 

1.  Increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the previous year

 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between February 2002 arid February 2003, the overall consumer price index in the Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County area rose by 3.6%. (Source: http://www.bls.gov/news.releaseIcpi.to3.htm)

 

 

2. Increase in Real Estate Prices

 

The Los Angeles Times Real Estate Section indicated the median sales price for a single family home for all of Los Angeles County at the end of 2002 was $29O,000--up by 18.4% from the previous year. See attached report (FACULTY HOUSING COSTS) for a complete housing analysis.

 

 

3. Change in Housing Affordability

 

We recognize that housing prices are not the only factor affecting affordability. Low interest rates have helped offset the increase in housing, although there is an overall decrease in affordability. The Housing Affordability Index (HAD, compiled by the California Association of Realtors, shows a drop in the number of California households able to afford a median priced home from 31% last January to 29% in January 2003. The minimum household income needed to purchase a median priced home during that period rose from $73,650 to $79,829.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Report of the committee on the

Economic Status Of the Faculty

September 17, 1998.

 

 

 

Summary of ESOF Recommendations

 

Salary Recommendation:

 

CPI Increase

Merit Increase

Equity pool

1.65%

2.00%

0.25%

Va

 

 

~j .15

TIAA Contribution:

 

Increase University contribution to 9.5%

 

 

Part-time Faculty:

 

1)   The per-course compensation should be increased to a starting value of $4,500.

2)   The Administration or Human Resources should clarif~’ in writing the requirements

necessary for part-time faculty to become participants in TIAA-CREF.

3)    The Benefits Committee should be asked to look into the actual cost of covering medical benefits for part-time faculty from which it might be possible to suggest a plan for prorating benefit costs for part-time faculty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Justification of Recommendations

 

Comparison Schools

 

1)   Appendix A: If one looks solely at the salary numbers of LMIU vs. our comparison schools, we are doing reasonably well. The values for the Westchester campus (Table C), in comparison with schools that have no law school, are better than the comparison that includes the law school. But if one takes into account the local cost of living Uor the areas that our comparison schools are in, we are not doing nearly as well. Numbers for “local cost of living” take into account that the area we live in is more expensive than that of our comparison schools. This is particularly true of the schools that have no Law school.’

 

2) Appendix B: Our average salaries came up by about 1% relative to our comparison schools, this year vs. last. This is good and allows our salaries to be at the average relative to our comparison schools. Please note, however, that Assistant salaries changed very little. See under “Comments.”

 

3)   Comments: The low percentage values for Assistant salaries at LMU may be due to one or more of the following reasons: A) Our Assistant Professors stay a shorter time in rank before promotion, or B) Our starting salaries for new faculty are relatively low and remained low this year. Two deans consulted with regard to starting salary negotiations cited low salaries as a “maybe” for why some desirable candidates elected to go elsewhere.

 

Consumer Price Index Increases

 

The increases in the Consumer Price Index for the 12 month period of August 1997 through July 1998 were nationally 1.7%, and locally (LA-Riverside-Orange County) 1.6%.

Traditionally, the base point for the faculty salary increase uses an average of the increase in CPI both nationally and locally. That average this year would be 1.65%.

 

Merit increase

 

The ESOF committee traditionally has made the suggestion that a “merit” in crease of at least 2% be included in our salary request. The idea being that if an individual puts in a

 

 

 

 

 

‘Table C has 2 averages illustrated, with and without Gonzaga This is because numbers for Gonzaga were not available last year and, in order to compare similar numbers, both values are given.

 

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career at LMU, that a faculty member’s “real” salary would double over a career.2 This figure is then related to work experience. Other than the two promotions achievable by a faculty member, there is no other way to compensate for experience. This also allows us to hold our own with relation to “local cost of living”.

 

Equity

 

When the new policy of adding a greater sum to our base salaries for promotion (4.5% for 1998-99) was instituted, it created some inequities. Those that were promoted earlier could have comparatively lower salaries than more recent promotees. Beginning last year, the Faculty Senate asked for an equity fund of 0.25% of total current salaries to be allotted to an Equity Fund to address these inequities. ESOF recommends that this fund be repeated this year

 

Summing the percentages given under CPI, Merit and Equity above, the ESOF committee recommends that the Faculty Senate request a 3.9% increase in the salary pool for 1999-2000. 3.65% would be distributed in the usual manner through the three “reward” levels that the A~vrP assigns each year. The other 0.25% would be distributed to mitigate inequities.

 

University TIAA-CREF contribution

 

The University contribution to TIAA-CREF has remained at 9% for many years (approximately a decade). Consultation with faculty members at other universities reveals a wide range of policies on university contribution to this fund, (Appendix C) but 10% is very common and it goes higher. In many cases the employee contribution is less than 5%. In light of this fact, ESOF recommends that the University contribution be increased to 9.5%. An increase in this contribution represents a tax deferred salary increase and may represent a better option than an equivalent base salary increase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2Strictly speaking, if you consider a 30 year career at LMU it would require a 2.3% increase above the CPI each year to double buying power during the career.

 

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Part-time faculty

 

Faculty compensation on a per-course basis: The following table of comparison school compensation for individual courses taught indicates that LMU lags behind the average on this value. All values below are “per course”.

LMJJ               about $3450

USC                $4,500 to $10,000

UCLA            $6,000 to $7,000 with some benefits as well

Occidental $5,000 to $6,000

          Pepperdine      $2,600 to $4,200

          Claremont       $4,780 to $5,312

UCSD $5,780

USD               $3,225 to $3,525 (lower value is for lack of terminal degree)

USF                $2,949 to $4,112

 

ESOF recommends that LMU compensation be increased to a starting value of $4,500 per course to be more in line with the starting values at Occidental, USC and Claremont.

 

Retirement benefits eligibility of part-time faculty: Documents relating to eligibility for retirement benefits for both part-time staff and for part-time faculty are attached [Appendix D and E, respectively.] As the faculty document is currently worded very few, if any, part-time faculty would qualify for the 1,000 hours in 12 months. This situation needs clarification in writing, since part time faculty overwhelmingly have contracts written by salary per course. Such questions as “Who needs to certify that 1/3 of the part-time faculty member’s time is spent on a frill range of duties?” and “Under what circumstances can a contract be written in terms of a percentage of a full time faculty rate?” As the situation currently stands, faculty who are part time are given l.e~er rights than part time staff because they do not normally work on an hourly basis. 4~ewer

 

Medical and other benefits for part-time faculty: ESOF is repeatedly told in investigating the possibility of extending medical and other health related benefits to part-time faculty that it would be too expensive, that sick people would want to work for us, that it would lessen the quality of our medical group, and make it more expensive for all of us. No proof is ever given for this line of reasoning.

ESOF recommends that the Faculty Senate ask the Benefits Committee (Patricia Walsh, chair) be asked to look into the actual cost to the university of offering benefits to part-time faculty. Possible questions would relate to the idea of prorating the University contribution based on teaching load. In addition, some process by which part-time faculty can be informed of the eligibility requirements needs to be adopted, since I-Iuman Resources does not have a way of finding out who might qualify and much of the information on these faculty is held by individual deans, not by the AMP.

 

 

 

 

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Miscellaneous

 

Salaries for summer teaching, an update: Current faculty are paid for a 3 unit course during the summer at a rate equivalent to 8.5% of the average in-rank academic year salary. An investigation of local university summer salaries reveals that 8.5% is pretty standard. We are holding our own on this score.

 

Access to Academe Because some of the figures that are needed to calculate average salaries (specifically, the grand averages) are not published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, it is necessary to have easy access to the AAUP publication, Academe. Dr. Jabbra and certain members of our faculty receive this journal, but Dr. Jabbra’s office sometimes either does not receive it or receives it very belatedly. The library gets one year at a time in the form of microfilm. This source is insufficient for the timing involved in ESOF Therefore, provision should be made for a reliable source of this publication.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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