Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty
Compensation Recommendations – 2004
ESOF recognizes the work of Watson Wyatt Worldwide on total LMU faculty compensation currently underway, and makes no claim to have duplicated their studies. We did, however, feel that it was important to bring a faculty voice to the table on the issue of faculty salaries, and offer the following:
1. Adjustment for “Adequate” performance: 2.5% (general increase)
The rationale for this recommendation, which mirrors those given every year in the recent past, is that “the increase for ‘adequate’ or ‘satisfactory’ performance should be tied to the increase in the Consumer Price Increase (CPI) for the previous year,” based on the idea that those whose performance is deemed to be adequate should not lose ground to inflation.
For the past three years, however, the CPI has increased at rates greatly exceeding the increases given to LMU faculty members receiving adequate performance ratings. Last year, this rate was a mere 1%, despite larger increases in student tuition and a 2.7 increase in the CPI. Consequently, faculty receiving this rating for the past three years have now lost over three percent in purchasing power.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index for the 12-month period ending in October 2003 was 2.2% for the Greater Los Angeles Area. We are recommending an increase of 0.3% over the CPI in an effort to recoup slightly less than 10% of the purchasing power lost during the recession from which we have been emerging.
2. Merit Increase: 2.3%
ESOF has consistently requested a 2.3 percent merit increase above the increase in the cost of living, based upon the following rationale:
“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)
3. Summer Salary Increase: 5.0%
Over the past few years, summer salaries have increased 5% per year to hold to a level of 8.5% of average salary in rank. When summer salaries fall below this level, it has been difficult, particularly in some disciplines, to interest faculty in teaching during the summer, and some programs have struggled to staff their summer programs with tenured or tenure-track faculty. We therefore recommend a further 5% increase for summer salaries.
4. Retirement Contribution (403b): 9.5%
ESOF has traditionally reported the university’s contribution when matched by a faculty member’s contribution as part of its report, although this is merely a report, and not a recommendation.