An article written by Ryan Foley of the Associated Press yesterday revealed details from a report mentioned in yesterday’s post. According to the report, salaries for UW System faculty and academic staff have fallen far below their peers and must be increased quickly in order for UW to remain competitive. The report was the work of the Competitive University Workforce Commission, a group of business leaders and experts in higher education. The commission was chaired by Kathi Seifert, a retired Kimberly-Clark executive and Regent Vice President Michael Spector.
UW System has identified competitive compensation as a key component of its Growth Agenda, a long-range effort to increase the number of degree-holders in Wisconsin. The effort will increase enrollments at most campuses, expand research, and enhance the state’s economy. Faculty are essential to the success of the plan.
PROFS recognized the importance of the the commission and its work and met with Regent Spector last month. Many topics were discussed, including faculty salaries and benefits. While benefits for employees of UW System are generous, several faculty members noted to Spector that faculty and other employees do not receive tuition benefits for themselves or their children. This is a fairly common benefit at other universities and should be considered when comparing overall benefits packages between institutions. PROFS is pleased that the commission recommended a task force to look into the issue.