"Chill" Will Raise Money For MU
The untangling began several months ago when MU officials sent out a university-wide request for ways to squeeze more money out of the budget.
This week, officials announced a "chill" on hiring. Only half of the usual seventy positions that become vacant will be filled beginning this fall. All this to raise money for future pay raises.
MU ranks second from the bottom in faculty and staff salaries compared to the nation's other major universities.
MU Provost Brian Foster clarified some points on "Compete Missouri," the financial plan to make MU a more desirable university for quality faculty.
MU had planned on giving some faculty and staff raises starting next summer, and a four percent increase was scheduled to begin next school year. Now, in an effort to be more competitive, MU officials want to add three percent more to that figure. Next summer's raises were going to come from four percent of the school's operating budget. Now, officials want to add about 4 million dollars, bringing the raise to seven percent for next year.
Some faculty and staff will receive more, and others less, which will be determined by performance.
"These will be merit-based salary increments. People that are the highest performers will get more, and that means that great teachers, the great researchers, the people that are doing outstanding extension service," said Foster.
Higher raises will also go to staff members like information technology experts who could be hired away by other schools. These pay hikes won't go into effect until fiscal year 2009, which starts next July. Provost Foster re-emphasized the main purpose of this plan, which is to make MU competitive.
"If we're going to be able to get the best and keep the best people, we just have to compete with salaries because we are competing with the best schools elsewhere. What you want is to have good people that everyone else wants," said Foster.
MU employees will be looking for some sort of increase for the 2008 fiscal year, which began this month. Fiscal officers around campus said the pool for that raise is smaller than normal. It is also important to note that the 7 percent number for salary increases is only an estimate and won't be finalized until the legislature is in session.