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Genshaft proposes 12 percent increase in faculty salaries

A proposal by USF President Judy Genshaft sent to the university’s Board of Trustees on Friday would raise faculty salaries at USF by about 12 percent over the course of three years if the Faculty Union agrees.

Genshaft said in a message to the BOT that the raises, which she says are the largest for USF faculty in at least 10 years, would bring faculty salaries “up to a more competitive level.”

“Our proposal represents our continuing commitment to raising ranked faculty salaries to a level comparable with other Research I universities nationally,” Genshaft said in her message.

The proposed raises would cost the university about $10 million during the first year, with a 5.5 percent salary-increase pool being distributed on Aug. 7, a pool which would become almost 7.5 percent with a lump-sum, one-time-only $1,000 bonus from the state Legislature.

USF professors make less than their counterparts across the country, making recruiting and retaining faculty difficult.

Faculty Union president Roy Weatherford could not comment, citing the ongoing negotiations between the two sides as his reason.

Spokeswoman Michelle Carylon told the St. Petersburg Times on Saturday that the raises will be distributed based on performance, marketability and length of service, and could be given to up to 1,700 union employees.

On average, USF faculty were paid an average of $77,300 last year, more than $7,000 below the average of Florida State University and $12,000 behind the University of Florida’s.

“Our research shows that our faculty as a whole is about 9 percent underpaid compared with our peers,” Genshaft said.

Genshaft only gave a brief description of how the university would handle the new expenses with such large raises.

“Reallocating resources to afford these increases won’t be easy for some areas of the university, but we have developed a plan to shift dollars from non-instructional areas into our faculty and academic programs. As a result, we are also changing how we will allocate future dollars. Simply put, we’re spending more (endowments and grants) money on instruction and less E&G money on non-academic areas. This is not only the right thing to do, it is a smart investment of our scarce resources.”