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March 20, 1997

Annual report on University faculty salaries released

Pitt's Office of Institutional Research (OIR) released its annual Faculty Salary Increase Report last week. And, as usual, the numbers require some explanation.

For example: Every Pitt school (except the medical school, which has its own salary raise policy) received a 3.5 percent increase in salary funds for the current fiscal year — 2.5 percent cost of living, 1 percent merit and equity. So how could one school's salary budget for fulltime, continuing faculty increase by an average of 3.03 percent, while the percentage was 5.91 percent at another school? The answer can get complicated. To begin with, the 3.5 percent increase in the pool of salary money included compensation for staff as well as faculty, and staff are excluded from the OIR report. Also, faculty were excluded from the category of "continuing faculty" if they were promoted last year, were on leave of absence, or changed from eight-month to 12-month contracts or vice versa, among other reasons. See note below the chart for a full list of faculty categories excluded from the report.

A school that appears to have awarded lower-than-average pay raises may in fact have promoted a number of professors and raised their salaries. But because those faculty members changed rank, they did not show up as continuing faculty in the report.

But by looking at the numbers for "total faculty" as well as "continuing faculty," readers can get an idea of how faculty salaries changed between Oct. 31, 1995 and Oct. 31, 1996, OIR Director James L. Ritchie said.

OIR distributed its report to deans, regional campus presidents and members of the University Senate budget policies committee.

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