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February 17, 2011

More faculty raises exceeded inflation in FY11, report shows

Click image to download full-size chart.

Click image to download full-size chart.

A University report presented to the Senate budget policies committee (BPC) Feb. 11 found that more of Pitt’s full-time continuing faculty received pay raises that kept pace with inflation in fiscal year 2011.

Although individual faculty members’ raises averaged 4.4 percent, the analysis showed that, of 1,873 full-time continuing faculty, 543 (or 29 percent of the total) received raises of less than the 2.7 percent rate of inflation in FY11. In comparison, a report that analyzed faculty raises for FY09 showed about 59 percent of full-time continuing faculty fell below the inflation rate of 4.1 percent. (See April 2, 2009, University Times.)

The analysis, which Pitt’s Management Information and Analysis office typically prepares for BPC each year, was not compiled last year due to the FY10 pay freeze. (See March 5, 2009, University Times.)

According to the FY11 report, 914 faculty members received raises of 2.7 percent-4.99 percent; 214 got raises of 5 percent-7.49 percent; 93 received raises of 7.5 percent-9.99 percent and 109 got raises of 10 percent or more.

The report also breaks out a total for full-time continuing faculty excluding medicine. In that analysis, 518 (nearly 30 percent) of 1,739 full-time continuing faculty received raises of less than 2.7 percent.

“I think this is a really valuable report that comes to Senate budget policies every year,” said BPC chair John J. Baker, adding that he found the results positive, considering the current budget circumstances.

The analysis presents a snapshot of full-time continuing faculty who are on the Pitt payroll in October each year; the inflation rate is based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics December consumer price index, in this case, for December 2009, said Arthur J. Ramicone, Pitt’s chief financial officer.

In the FY11 report, continuing faculty represented 81.8 percent of the total full-time faculty.

Excluded from the analysis are faculty who were hired or who left the University between fall 2009 and fall 2010; faculty whose contract base changed (from 12- to 9-month, or vice versa) or who changed between full- and part-time; faculty on leave of absence without pay; academic administrators at the dean’s level or above; visiting faculty; faculty who changed responsibility centers, and faculty whose salary was reduced.

Last  July,  Pitt’s  Board  of  Trustees approved a 3 percent salary pool increase for FY11. Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg announced the increase would be distributed as 2 percent for salary maintenance for employees with satisfactory performance and 1 percent for merit, market and equity adjustments at the unit level. (See Sept. 2 University Times.)

Total FY11 salaries increased 4.3 percent over FY10, while the average individual faculty member’s percentage increase was 4.4 percent, according to Pitt’s analysis.

Ramicone noted that the average increase often is higher than the announced salary pool increase, in part because salary increases are granted based on budget. “It’s the approved position dollars, if you will, it’s not who’s actually sitting in those seats,” he explained.

Of  full-time  continuing faculty University-wide whose paychecks did not keep up with inflation, 73 (3.8 percent of the total full-time continuing faculty) received less than the 2 percent maintenance raise, indicating their performance was less than satisfactory.

However, 470 faculty (or 25 percent) who received raises for satisfactory performance still fell below the 2.7 percent rate of inflation in FY10, according to the report.

In the analysis that excluded medical faculty, of 518 full-time continuing faculty whose pay increase lagged behind inflation, 59 (or 3 percent of that group of 1,739 continuing faculty) received raises of less than the 2 percent maintenance increase; 459 (or 26 percent) who received raises for satisfactory performance still had increases below the inflation rate.

Ramicone told BPC that inflation is moderating. “Next year we’ll be dealing with a report and within our budget deliberations with an inflation rate of 1.5 percent,” he said.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

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