OPS devises plan for salary hike

By Jami Peterson

Members of NIU’s budget savings committee scanned every area of the university and narrowed down sources for a proposed 4.25 percent salary jump for all faculty members.

NIU President John La Tourette’s Organization, Productivity and Salaries Committee (OPS) has been meeting since February to build up a salary increment pool for all faculty members over the next two years, with the least impact on NIU.

OPS devised a plan to scrape up extra funds by reducing enrollment, slicing intercollegiate athletics, conserving utility costs, reorganizing academic affairs, reallocating funds in maintenance and capital repairs and reducing staff.

OPS members discussed a temporary plan of attack Friday which would gather about $2 million in fiscal year 1993 and another $2.8 million during fiscal year 1994.

The highest portion of funds would come from reductions in enrollment and staff. Through enrollment reduction, NIU would save $600,000 during the first and second years of the two-year plan.

Political Science Professor Ladd Thomas, an OPS member, said there might be a higher number of students entering college next year because of the recession.

However, La Tourette said there probably will be fewer freshmen and more transfer students next year. “There is a little more weakness on the freshman side,” he said.

Eddie Williams, vice president of Finance and Planning, said he believes because of financial pressures, more students are attending community colleges for two years and then transferring to universities. “Students are staying closer to community colleges,” he said.

Also under the plan, the intercollegiate athletics department would receive a $200,000 slice during the first year and a $400,000 cut during the second year.

At past meetings, OPS members requested a comparison of NIU’s athletic budget to other universities. La Tourette said although it is hard to determine exactly how funds are counted at each university, Illinois State University at Normal is “in the same boat” as NIU, he said.

ISU students pay $111.60 each year in athletic fees while NIU’s athletic department takes in $107.52 from student fees each year, he said.

NIU is continuing to look at other universities, but it is difficult to get statistics, La Tourette said.