January 2005 aaUPBEAT
Special Salary Adjustments and Faculty Survey Analysis
The University of Delaware is annually ranked among the nation's public institutions of higher education with the largest endowments. This trend was continued in 2004 when UD announced that its endowment fund had increased to $1.06 billion, more than three times higher than the national average.
In addition to UD's endowment wealth, the University's "Campaign for Delaware" fundraising campaign, which was launched in 1998 and is scheduled to end in 2005, had already exceeded its $225 million goal by $158 million in 2004. Tens of millions of additional dollars are expected to be added to UD's fundraising coffers before the campaign concludes at the end of 2005.
Over recent years, the University's wealth has paid for renovations, administrative expansion, new construction, landscape beautification, art acquisitions and so on. As worthwhile as such expenditures often have been, they can't be allowed to obscure the fact that, in order to deepen UD's academic reputation, the Administration's primary investment must be in UD's academic mission. In other words, the Administration must pay the cost of strengthening - and broadening wherever necessary - its classroom and research opportunities. This means not only funding new programs and expanding old ones, but also providing faculty with salaries and benefits that are sufficiently competitive so that current UD faculty remain and innovative new faculty are drawn here.
UD's healthy financial status indicates beyond a doubt that the Administration possesses the funds to accomplish this.
Over the last five years the University's sizeable investment in the Delaware Biotechnology Institute (DBI), a nonprofit unit of the University, is an example of UD's ability to fund academic expansion when it deems such expansion to be necessary. However, as innovative as the Institute has proven to be, it would be a mistake for the Administration to restrict additional academic funding for our institution primarily to initiatives like DBI - i.e., joint ventures between industry and the University which highlight the University's role as a supplier of expertise and research for the corporate world. The danger of higher education over-focusing on this aspect of academic growth at the expense of other aspects should be clear to everyone with a stake in academia: by prioritizing the so-called "practical outcomes" so cherished by the corporate world, higher education runs the risk of undervaluing and therefore underfunding less "practical" areas of academic endeavor like theoretical physics, women's studies, philosophy and so on.
This is why it is imperative that the Administration balance its investments in projects like DBI with similar investments in the University's educational mission in general. Such investments must include, as indicated above, a commitment to guaranteeing that UD faculty salaries and benefits are not just "passable" but are competitive and part of an aggressive plan for making the University an increasingly vital center of academic innovation and foresight.
Along with the specific issues discussed below, the economic background summarized in this section will play an important role in shaping the union's bargaining strategy this year.
Introduction to Survey Results
Before formulating its collective bargaining proposal and submitting it to the Steering Committee, the AAUP Executive Council traditionally conducts a survey of bargaining unit members to identify issues of concern to faculty.
In preparation for this year's collective bargaining sessions, the Executive Council has followed this practice. First we provided a draft of the survey questionnaire to the Steering Committee for comments and suggestions. After the questionnaire was edited and tightened on the basis of this input, the survey was distributed to faculty. Upon return of the questionnaires, Executive Council members reviewed and discussed the faculty's responses to the survey.
Below is a summary of the survey's results.
Survey Results: Quantitative Summary
Since the questionnaire was not answered by a random sample of either AAUP members or the bargaining unit, the results, although indicative of basic faculty concerns, do not provide a fully representative picture of faculty views.
All told, 273 bargaining unit members completed the questionnaire and returned it to the AAUP office. This is about 25% of the faculty. 44% of the respondents were full professors, 29% were associate professors, 17% were assistant professors, and 11% were instructors. 71% of the respondents were AAUP members. 38% were female. Compared to the faculty profile at the University of Delaware, AAUP members and full professors were overrepresented, and female faculty were slightly overrepresented.
Salary Issues. A majority of respondents, 57%, considered salary to be the most important area in negotiating a new contract. A majority, 51%, considered a raise between 4-5% to be appropriate, 30% of respondents favored a raise of more than 5% as an appropriate, and 19% of respondents indicated that a raise between 3 and 4% would be appropriate.
Benefits. Health benefits were the second most important area for negotiation. Approximately 67% of respondents belong to the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Delaware PPO plan, and a strong majority, 78%, is either satisfied or very satisfied with their health insurance plan. Roughly 87% of respondents were familiar with the Wellness Program, and 49% indicated that they were either satisfied or very satisfied with it, 28% were either unsatisfied or very unsatisfied, and 24% did not view the question as applicable to them. When asked which benefits program they would like to see improved, 38% selected Health Care Benefits, 26% selected TIAA/CREF, and 17% selected the physical/eye examination benefit. When asked whether they would prefer that the University spend another $100 on benefits rather than add it to salary, 54% indicated that they agreed that it should go to benefits, 20% were neutral, and 27% disagreed that it should go to benefits. When it comes to a Vision Plan, 58% of respondents would be willing to pay a portion of the premium for family coverage, 19% do not consider this applicable to them, and 23% were opposed.
Domestic Partner Benefits. A strong majority of respondents, 67% either strongly agreed or agreed that the AAUP should continue to bargain for domestic partner benefits. 14% were neutral, and 19% disagreed.
Merit Pay and Workload Policies. A large majority of respondents, 77%, agreed or agreed strongly that their units have clear procedures for awarding merit pay. 55% were either satisfied or very satisfied with their unit's merit pay policies, 26% were neutral, and 18% were either not satisfied or very dissatisfied. When it comes to workload policy, 48% are either satisfied or very satisfied with their revised workload policies, 29% were neutral, and 24% were not satisfied.
The Grievance Procedure. Approximately 57% of the respondents are familiar with the Grievance Procedure outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Faculty, however, were split on its effectiveness. 28% of respondents consider the Grievance Procedure either effective or very effective, 21% consider it either ineffective or very ineffective, and 50% do not see this question as applicable to them.
Just Cause. A huge majority of respondents, 92%, agree that the Collective Bargaining Agreement should have a "just cause" provision which would enable faculty to file a grievance should they be terminated. 6% were neutral on this question, and 3% disagreed.
The AAUP and Cultural Diversity. When it comes to issues of cultural diversity, 54% of respondents agreed strongly or agreed that the AAUP should be more involved in promoting cultural diversity on campus. 20% were neutral, and 27% disagreed.
Additional Issues Raised by the Survey
The AAUP Faculty Survey has importance beyond preparing contract proposals for negotiations with the Administration. A number of faculty members took the time to write their views on a host of issues involving contract negotiations, the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and the role of the AAUP. Faculty members expressed their views on issues ranging from mini-sabbaticals to benefits for adopting parents to ways to improve eye care benefits. All of these comments are valuable. Several of these views and concerns expressed by respondents are highlighted in this section.
A number of faculty comments are related to issues of merit pay distribution, salary compression, and salary levels in particular units. These very real concerns, such as the relative importance of teaching and research in the allocation of merit pay, cannot be addressed specifically in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Rather, these are issues that should be addressed at the level of the department or, indeed, the individual faculty member's workload agreement. Faculty should call upon the AAUP to look into these matters and to work with them on these matters.
Although survey respondents generally appear satisfied with their revised workload agreements, there are faculty members who have very intense views on the procedures through which workload policies were revised, the workload policies in their units, and, indeed, the role of the AAUP in the workload policy process. One faculty member states that "the Administration is attempting to put workload definitions of research active faculty that includes a research dollar amount in order to justify lower teaching loads." Another respondent comments that "a faculty's external research funding amount is being used to determine the faculty's teaching load." Another states that the "workload policy is terrible, terrible, terrible. I have no ideas why the union caved in as a way of disciplining faculty and using teaching workload as a way to punish..." Another raises the question of whether any teaching loads have fallen as a result of revised workload policies.
There are issues involving workload that require further discussion and clarification by the AAUP. Future issues of AAUPBEAT will focus on workload. At this point, suffice it to say that many of the concerns raised in questionnaire comments are particular to departments and to individuals. These are most fruitfully addressed at the departmental level with the advice and participation of the AAUP.
Parking is another issue that respondents focused on in their comments. Parking, as pointed out in a recent issue of AAUPBEAT, is a sharp source of frustration due to availability and affordability. The parking situation on campus is viewed as detrimental to sound pedagogy and to active participation in campus life.
Over recent years the AAUP's analysis of UD's financial condition, our survey of faculty views and our ability to articulate faculty concerns have played an important role in improving faculty conditions of employment, including moving us from below the salary median in our comparator group to a stronger position. We have done this because we know it is impossible to broaden the University's contributions to the state's and nation's academic life without the Administration directing monies into education-specific areas, including faculty compensation.
But whatever our successes may have been in the past, we recognize that our work is far from over. Confronting the challenges of a rapidly changing higher education system means constantly adapting to new situations - e.g., new technologies, pressures to corporatize, an emphasis on more productivity for less pay, changes in funding trends, etc. This is why the upcoming contract negotiations are so important. As we develop our collective bargaining proposal, we will be motivated by the principle that UD's commitment to academic values is first and foremost evidenced in its financial and other commitments to faculty.
Special Salary Adjustments Under Article 12.8 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement
by Leon Campbell
Each year the AAUP Contract Maintenance Officer (CMO) receives a list of the names of faculty designated to receive special salary adjustments under Article 12.8 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The list includes the adjustment amount for each recipient and the reasons the adjustments were made.
The CMO reviews the list with the Vice President for Administration to certify that the awards are for equity, market, market and equity, and retention. The CMO reports on the salary adjustments to the AAUP Executive Council.
The amount of money distributed each year varies depending upon the funds available. Sufficient funds are not usually available to meet all of the needs of the colleges and some adjustments may be spread over two or more years. As he did for FY 2001-2002 President Roselle has made funds available over and above the $300,00 available for FY 2004-2005. The amount totaled $355,000 and he specified that the additional funds were to be used to make the University more competitive at the full Professor level with our comparator Category I doctoral level universities in the mid-Atlantic region. Since the National AAUP Annual Faculty Salary survey includes department chairs as faculty some of the funds allocated by President Roselle for full professors went to department chairs and academic program directors holding the faculty rank of professor.
The funds for 2004-2005 were distributed to faculty in all seven colleges as follows:
Equity ($89,000), Market ($298.653), Market & Equity ($10,490) and Retention ($62,837) for a total of $460,980 to bargaining unit faculty. The largest college, the College of Arts & Sciences, distributed a total of $224,500 for all categories.
The $460,980 allocated for 2004-2005 under Article 12.8 were distributed by rank as follows:
Full Professors, $361,827, Associate Professors $59,175, Assistant Professors $29,045 and Instructors $10,933.
Funds in the amount of $194,020 were distributed to department Chairs and academic program directors holding the faculty rank of Full Professor.
Individual faculty members may send a request to the chair of the department, the AAUP Contract Maintenance Officer or the Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research and Planning to conduct a salary equity analysis to determine whether or not salary adjustments under Article 12.8 may be warranted.
In 2005 there will be a five-week window of opportunity from January 24, 2005 and ending on February 28, 2005 to respond to any and all formal requests for faculty salary equity analysis. Requests made after February 28, 2005 will not be processed.
The results of the salary equity analysis conducted by the Office of Institutional Research and Planning are sent to the dean of the appropriate college for review and discussion with the department chair of the faculty member making the request.
The recommendations of chairs are advisory to the deans. Ultimately, the Provost reviews all proposed salary adjustments and decides whether or not to authorize them. In keeping with University policy, individuals' salaries are kept confidential throughout this process.
Any questions regarding these special salary adjustments should be addressed to Leon Campbell, AAUP Contract Maintenance Officer at 831-6767 or firstname.lastname@example.org.