September 24, 2002
FACULTY SALARIES SHOW GAINS, BUT PROGRESS COULD STALL
SPRINGFIELD - A state initiative has succeeded in
making faculty salaries more competitive at Illinois colleges
and Illinois, although gains may be jeopardized by the state's
ongoing fiscal exigency.
That is the conclusion of the annual study of Illinois faculty
salaries to be presented to the Illinois Board of Higher Education
next week. The Board will meet at 9 a.m., October 1, at Kishwaukee
College Conference Center in Malta. The Board also will hear
presentations from colleges and universities concerning "best
practices" in meeting statewide goals and receive a report
examining issues affecting students' time-to-degree.
The faculty salary study analyzes the results of a state initiative
approved by Governor George Ryan and the General Assembly
aimed at making Illinois public university faculty salaries
more competitive with peers around the nation. The study shows
it worked, although average salaries paid Illinois faculty
continue to lag behind peers nationwide.
According to the report, in fiscal 2002, the average salary
for all ranks of faculty at public universities was $66,000,
an increase of 11.5 percent over FY2000, the first year of
the special salary initiative, entitled Recruiting and Retaining
Critical Faculty and Staff, and known colloquially as the
"3+1+1" plan (in addition to a 3 percent general
salary increase, the state and campus each supplied an additional
1 percent to make salaries more competitive). The average
salary at community colleges was $55,400, 3.8 percent more
than in FY2000. At private institutions, the average faculty
salary last year was $72,200, an increase of 7.4 percent since
The report notes that between fiscal 1995 and 2002, increases
in Illinois per capita income outpaced the rise of faculty
salaries in all sectors of higher education. But since 1999,
the year before the salary initiative began, salaries at public
universities rose faster than per capita income in Illinois.
Salaries at community colleges lagged behind per capita income
increases in all periods of comparison. Private institution
salaries outpaced per capita income since FY2000.
An important measure of salary competitiveness is how average
salaries compare to peer institutions nationally. In FY1999,
Illinois public universities were at 95 percent of the median
salaries paid at peer institutions. By fiscal 2002, they had
closed the gap to 98 percent. Individual institutions vary
considerably, from Eastern Illinois University, which is at
92.6 percent of its peers, to Chicago State University, which
is at 110.7 percent of peer average salaries.
Despite the gains, only one public university ranks in the
top ten among its peer institutions - the University of Illinois
at Chicago is seventh among 22 institutions in its peer group.
The salary study also cautions that progress toward competitive
salaries may be stymied by the state's fiscal crisis. No new
state dollars went to the salary initiative in fiscal 2003
when appropriations to public universities fell $91 million
or 6.1 percent below FY02 levels. In addition, public universities
are required to contribute $45 million from general fund appropriations
to health insurance premiums. "The absence of salary
increase funds will hamper institutional efforts to improve
salary competitiveness in fiscal year 2003, and institutions
will be challenged to retain the progress reflected in this
report," the salary analysis states.
In other business, Board members will hear presentations from
four colleges and universities on "best practices"
under the annual Results Reports they supply to the Board
of Higher Education. Representatives from Kennedy-King College
will speak about their culinary and hospitality showcase dinner;
the University of Illinois at Chicago will report on its Laboratory
of Integrative Neuroscience; the University of St. Francis
will showcase its REAL Bridge Program; and Western Illinois
University will demonstrate its success in integrating technology
into teacher preparation.
The Board also will hear a report on persistence and degree
completion, outlining the various factors that influence a
student's progress toward a college degree and highlighting
activities throughout Illinois' higher education system to
promote student success.
The Board will be updated on its new Committee on Affordability,
created at its August meeting to undertake the first comprehensive
study of college affordability since a similar panel was formed
a decade ago. The study will be a joint venture with the Illinois
Student Assistance Commission, whose Chairman J. Robert Barr
will co-chair the affordability study with IBHE member, Robert
English. The committee will hold its first meeting on Wednesday,
October 2 at the Thompson Center in Chicago.