NIU faculty to receive 8.5 percent pay raise

By Stephanie Bradley

NIU faculty will receive an 8.5 percent salary increase this year, 75 percent of which is based on performance and 25 percent across the board.

NIU President John LaTourette said the Board of Regents passed a salary increase for those faculty members who were here as of June 30, 1987. Some of the increase will be catch-up pay for those members and will be reflected in the first faculty pay checks for their new duties this year.

At the Aug. 12 Faculty Assembly meeting, Robert Lane, business systems and analysis professor, questioned NIUs’ reasons for not implementing the increase before the summer session.

NIU Provost Kendall Baker said the increase was not implemented before summer school because NIU would have overspent its budget. “We wouldn’t have gotten the amount (of money) we needed for summer if we had implemented it earlier,” he said. “It’s not good management to have summer subsidized by the academic year.”

LaTourette said that for the past 20 years pay raises have been given on July 1. He also said the faculty is on nine-month appointments. NIU “tried to cover all appointments by giving increases from mid-August. Summer school is optional. To give an increase in the summer would have meant an increase for only the summer faculty. Other increases could not be implemented sooner because of the catch-up,” he said.

LaTourette also said NIU’s pay increase is larger than some other universities in Illinois. “We have to be competitive with other universities,” he said.

LaTourette said the University of Illinois faculty is receiving a seven percent increase, Southern Illinois will take a six to 6.5 percent increase and Illinois State University is getting a six to seven percent increase.

However, he said a pay increase “doesn’t mean the programs and services will improve. It (the increases) only will serve to keep faculty.”

LaTourette said six percent of the increase was given by the Illinois General Assembly. He also said the amount of pay increase for NIU staff would be different than the amount faculty will receive.

Since there was no tax increase for fiscal year 1989, NIU will continue to downsize enrollment, LaTourette said, which will be done by raising the criteria for admissions for freshmen and reducing the number of transfers admitted. Double-digit tuition increases could also happen, he said.

Lane said he believes the tuition increase was not implemented because Illinois legislators who have private schools in their districts did not want it. Many legislators want public schools to increase tuition and to continue to downsize their student bodies to keep private school enrollments up, Lane said.