Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty (ESOF)

Compensation Recommendations for 2005

 

 

1.   Adjustment for "Adequate  Performance:"   3.7%

 

Previous ESOF reports have tied the percentage annual salary increase for adequate or satisfactory performance to the average of the most recent Consumer Price Increase (CPI) for the United States, and the CPI for the greater Los Angeles area for the previous year.  The rationale for this is that those with adequate performance should not lose purchasing power over time due to inflation.

 

However, as noted in our ESOF report last year, the CPI has greatly outpaced salary increases for adequate performance for the past several years.  Consequently, we are again recommending an increase of 0.3% over the current CPI to attempt to gradually recoup the loss of faculty purchasing power that has occurred over this time period.

 

A CPI inflation calculator on U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates the U.S. inflation rate to be 3.75% for last year (source: http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl ).  For Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange Counties, the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated an average monthly CPI increase of  3.04% for the period from January through October 2004 (source: http://www.bls.gov/cpi/home.htm).  The average of these two CPI figures is 3.4%.

 

 

2.   Merit Increase:  2.3%

 

A 2.3% merit increase above that for adequate performance has been traditionally recommended by ESOF.  As noted in a pervious ESOF report the rationale for this is:

 

“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%

 

 

As we noted last year, it is important that summer salary increases at least keep pace with inflation, and generally hold to a level of about 8.5% of salary in a given rank.  Otherwise, some departments have found it difficult to attract tenure and tenure track faculty to teach during the summer sessions.

 

We again recommend a 5% increase in summer salaries.

 

 

4.   Retirement Contribution (403b):   9.5%

 

We have traditionally reported the current university retirement contribution (which is matched by the contribution of individual faculty members). However, this is not a recommendation -- we are simply reporting the current university retirement contribution.  We suggest that the Faculty Senate appoint a committee to investigate the current retirement policy.

 

 

Additional concerns and issues:

 

1.  The basic findings of the Watson Wyatt Worldwide consultant report "An Internal Perspective on Total Rewards at Loyola Marymount University" should be made available to faculty.  

 

The ESOF committee requested that at least a summary of this report, which was completed in November 2003, be distributed to LMU faculty, perhaps via an ESOF website.   Despite several requests, this report has not yet been made available to ESOF to place on an ESOF website, or otherwise generally available, or distributed, to faculty.

 

2.  Housing issues.

 

As noted by the Watson Wyatt report, housing is one of the most difficult challenges facing the University, especially in the recruitment and retention of faculty.  We suggest that the Faculty Senate appoint a committee to investigate the current housing policy.

 

3.  Lack of feedback from the administration regarding ESOF recommendations.

 

The ESOF committee has requested for many years that we be given feedback from the administration regarding why specific ESOF recommendations were, or were not, adopted, and the rationale for such decisions.  We would appreciate such feedback.  An annual ESOF meeting in the early Fall with the AVP to discuss actions and feedback regarding the previous ESOF report would be helpful.

 

In addition, we note that several policy recommendations that have been made in previous ESOF reports have not received feedback or action by the administration, including:

 

·         A recommendation for the adoption of "minimum annual salary targets by rank on the basis of comparable salaries at other institutions and housing affordability in the Los Angeles Area."   (ESOF 2001, ESOF 2002)

 

·         Summer school enrollment averaging, such that "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"  (rather than have the second course cancelled) (ESOF 2002)

 

·         ESOF report dissemination to the Board of Trustees, and feedback to the ESOF committee from the Trustees which would help ESOF "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)