Budget committee trying to adapt meetings to union concerns


The Dec. 16 Senate Budget Policies committee meeting may be a sign of things to come, at least for this committee as its tries to negotiate a path between shared governance, the faculty union and Pitt’s administration.

On the agenda for the meeting was the annual report from the provost’s office on how Pitt faculty salaries compare to peers in the American Association of Universities. Steve Wisniewski, vice provost for budget and analytics, told the committee that the administration could not share the salary report with members of the faculty union bargaining unit because of the threat of the union filing unfair labor charges for direct dealing.  

Even though the data is for the 2021-22 fiscal year, and therefore not subject to negotiation, Wisniewski said later that the information could be used in future bargaining sessions about salary.

This led new committee chair Juan Taboas, associate professor in the School of Dental Medicine, to form a subcommittee with members who are not in the bargaining unit, which includes faculty in supervisory roles, such as department chairs, and all faculty in the School of Medicine.

In the end, only three voting members of the committee — Tracey Olanyk, a faculty librarian who has a supervisory role; Staff Council representative Adriana Maguiña-Ugarte, from the anthropology department; and one student — were able to attend the full meeting, along with Greensburg sociology professor, Frank Wilson, a pro tem member who serves as that campus’ assistant vice president for academic affairs.

The committee already has two unfilled seats, due to illness and other issues, and none of the other faculty who are voting members could serve on the subcommittee. Only one other pro tem member, Melanie Scott, is from the medical school and could be on the subcommittee.

Wisniewski said the provost’s office and the Pitt legal team are taking a thoughtful look at the upcoming agenda items for Budget Policies committee meetings to see when the subcommittee would have to be used.

Senate President Robin Kear, who was present at the beginning of the meeting, said she thought the administration’s move was “overly cautious.”

“I would like to be able to hear this information. However, I cannot expect the administration to discuss information that they think potentially violates labor law,” she said. “Hopefully, the information is also being shared with the union somehow and they can share it with bargaining unit members.

“It is still a challenging time of transition. I certainly don’t like being shuffled out of a Senate committee meeting due to my status as a bargaining unit member. However, Senate committees are working through different approaches depending on the nature of their topics and the relation to mandatory bargaining.”

Salary report

Amanda Brodish, associate vice provost for data analytics, presented the report on salaries for full-time faculty on the Oakland campus and at the regionals to the Senate Budget Policies Committee on Dec. 10. This year’s report included figures for actual salaries and adjusted for cost of living.

The numbers below are for full-time faculty with instructional duties. Visiting professors are reported as instructors and School of Medicine faculty are excluded, per AAU’s policy.


The numbers for Oakland faculty are from 2021-22 and are compared to the other public AAU schools. The average change in salary for faculty continuing from fall 2020 to fall 2021 ranged from 1 percent for professors to 3.3 percent for instructors. Brodish noted that the University gave tiered salary increases last year with those faculty making the most money getting little to no maintenance increases.

Professors (33 schools in this group): 480 faculty

Average salary, $158,700

Rank: 20

Adjusted rank: 14

2020-21 ranks: 16/15

Associate professors (33 schools): 443 faculty

Average salary: $105,300

Rank: 23

Adjusted rank: 18

2020-21 ranks: 23/18

Assistant professor (33 schools): 521

Average salary: $88,900

Rank: 28

Adjusted rank: 19

2020-21 rank: 28/22

Instructors (22 schools): 153 faculty

Average salary: 57,000

Rank: 17

Adjusted rank: 14

2020-21 ranks: 18/17

Lecturers: (31 schools): 283 faculty

Average salary: $57,300

Rank: 28

Adjusted rank: 26

2020-21 ranks: 28/28


The regional campus figures are from 2020-21. For this report, the salaries at all three of Pitt’s four-year regional campuses — Johnstown, Greensburg and Bradford — are combined. In addition, instructors and lecturers were put into one category. Institutions are grouped into deciles based on the average salaries — decile 1 represents the top 10 percent, decile 2 the next lower 10 percent, etc. through decile 10 which represents the bottom 10 percent.

This benchmark group is based on data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The peer group includes baccalaureate colleges without a professional focus (as defined by the Carnegie Classification 2018) located in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. 

Professors: 32 faculty; average salary, $93,700; decile 4; adjusted for cost of living, decile 2

Associate professors: 109 faculty; average salary, $73,300; decile 5; adjusted for cost of living, decile 2

Assistant professors: 88 faculty; average salary, $60,100; decile 6; adjusted for cost of living, decile 1

Instructors and lecturers: 53 faculty; average salary, $53,000; decile 5; adjusted for cost of living, decile 1

Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at suejones@pitt.edu or 724-244-4042.


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