Regents may stand in way of faculty salary increase

By Peter Schuh

It appears NIU faculty will be receiving a reasonable pay increase next year, although NIU administrative higher-ups are unwilling to say anything for certain.

NIU Provost J. Carroll Moody said until Illinois’ legislators are finished hacking their way through this year’s budget “it would be foolhardy to make a guess.”

“The budget is just so uncertain right now,” he said.

Funds aimed for NIU which are still at risk in the state legislature include some of the original 4.5 percent increase presently slated for NIU and a faculty pay raise of about 1 percent tacked onto the budget in April by the Senate Appropriations Committee, Moody said.

“It’s not unusual in the closing days (of the legislature) for the leadership and the governor to start rearranging the budget in front of them,” he said. “Right now, the level of the salary increase depends on what comes out of there.”

Moody explained, “What we’re doing on campus is one component to the salary increase. The legislature is the other.”

Although he said legislators could cut deep enough to affect NIU’s component of the salary increase, Moody did speculate about the type of raise faculty might see.

“The most I think we can hope for from the state is 1 percent, and that’s obviously far from certain,” he said. “I certainly think the university can come up with 2.5 percent. I hope and the president hopes that we can do even better than that.”

This salary increase, which could be 3.5 percent or more, would come immediately after a 7 percent across-the-board increase instituted during the 1992-93 academic year.

Moody said the on-campus component of the salary increase would be funded by both reallocation and this year’s tuition increase.

“I certainly expect that it will help with the salary increase,” he said. “We hope it helps with students getting classes and graduating also.

“The salary increase might come in more than one increase, maybe one at the beginning of the year and one halfway through.”

However, Moody said the Board of Regents might stand in the way of a large salary increase because it has not yet “established a guideline for this year.”

“Obviously, the university would very much like to give a substantial raise—as much as it can for this year.”