Salaries increase

By Jerry Lawrence

Professors’ salaries at NIU have increased since fiscal year 1988 and are significantly closer to the median of salaries of professors at other Illinois public institutions.

Between fiscal years 1988 and 1989, salary levels of NIU professors, associate professors and assistant professors approached the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s combined group of median salaries. During that time, NIU professorial salaries as a whole have increased by $1,900.

NIU English Professor James Giles said that, in a national comparison, Illinois professorial salaries still would be below the average.

He said professorial salaries should be a priority, adding that because of the low salaries, faculty members are leaving NIU and other Illinois schools for jobs in other states. Also, the low salaries make recruiting new faculty difficult, Giles said.

NIU Accountancy Professor Richard Baker said in order to recruit and to maintain quality faculty members, equitable salaries need to be paid.

Quality faculty members are an “essential ingredient” in higher education, Baker said.

e said it is difficult to place a priority on one facet of the educational needs at NIU. “There are so many needs at this institution,” Baker said.

At the April 20 Board of Regents meeting, Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves said, “This year, however, we have managed to recover most of the momentum that we lost last year.”

The greatest recovery was made at the professor and associate professor levels. Since FY88, NIU professors’ salaries have increased from about $42,000 to more than $46,000. NIU associate professors’ salaries have increased from about $34,000 to almost $38,000.

Salaries at the Regency universities have been above the inflation level since FY85, Groves said. The one-year hiatus in FY88 put the salary level “dangerously close” to the inflation level, he said.

“This year we recovered nicely and are up (to a) level which is equal to or above the type of quality we had back in FY87,” he said.

Graphs were shown at the Regents’ meeting to update the Regents on professors’ salary levels at Regency universities.

The Regents govern NIU, Illinois State University at Normal and Sangamon State University at Springfield.

Of the five university governing systems in Illinois, the salary increase percentages have increased the most in the Regency system since FY86.

Salaries at the Regency schools have increased about 27 percent since FY86. Included in the percentage increase is the promotional increments for FY89 approved by the Regents in January. Beginning next year, NIU and ISU faculty promoted to full professors will receive a pay increase of $2,200 and faculty promoted to associate professors will receive an increase of $1,500.

Afer a mid-year salary increase for FY89, the Board of Governors schools’ professorial salaries have increased about 22 percent since FY86. The Board of Governors oversees Western Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois University, Governors State University, Eastern Illinois University and Chicago State University.

The Southern Illinois University system’s salaries have increased about 24 percent since FY86, while the University of Illinois system’s salaries increased about 21 percent.

NIU Student Regent Nick Valadez said at the April Regents meeting, “It’s important to recognize we still have to do better. Professors in the Regency system are deserving of more positive graphs.”

Giles said, “The board (of Regents) is doing what it can under the circumstances.”

A 5 percent salary increase for faculty at Illinois public universities is proposed in Gov. James Thompson’s FY90 higher education recommendations. Originally, the IBHE requested a 10 percent faculty salary increase.