0 percent reduced to 5

By Dina Paluzzi

Faculty upset over pay raise recommendation

Some NIU faculty are disgusted with the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s staff recommendation of a 5 percent salary increase.

The IBHE’s orginal request for a 10 percent increase was reduced to 5 percent to accomodate Gov. James Thompson’s proposed higher education budget.

Thompson’s budget is about $185 million less than the IBHE’s recommended $2 billion budget.

The IBHE will vote on the budget March 7 in Chicago.

Art Professor Gordon Dorn said, “I’m really at a loss for words when it comes to this type of news.”

Dorn said NIU faculty salaries have been below standards since the 1970’s. “We have a history of 20 years of underfunding,” he said.

If the percent recommendation is passed, “it will be disastrous. The 5 percent doesn’t even take care of inflation,” he said.

Judy Bishoff, University Council execuative secretary, said NIU faculty should receive “at least (a) 10 percent (annual pay increase) without question.”

Faculty received about an 8 percent salary increase last year but only as the result of sacrifices made by NIU, she said. In 1986-87, faculty and staff did not receive an increase, she said.

Bischoff said it does not appear that the state is trying very hard to make salary levels at Illinois universities competitive.

Biological Science Professor Jack Bennett said, “The faculty is just totally demoralized.”

Thompson “is not living up to his statement that he’s in favor of economic development in education,” he said.

Mathematical Sciences Professor Linda Sons said, “The governor’s position is one that relates to a tax increase. The state has to have the money. The politics of it is what needs to be settled.”

NIU President John LaTourette could not be reached for comment Monday.