2025 Visionary Plan

K-State 2025 Faculty Compensation Report Comments

From January 16, 2013 - March 15, 2013, the K-State community was asked to provide feedback on the university 2025 faculty compensation report, "Structuring Faculty Salaries Towards K-State 2025 & Beyond", recommended by our Faculty Compensation Committee. This report compiles the online comments and suggestions received during the formal comment period.

Submitted Identity Comments?
Jan. 16, 2013 staff_unclassified Are we getting any info on staff salaries? How does unclassified staff compare to our peers? I assume it is a similar trend, but without the data, how can we tell?
Jan. 16, 2013 admin As a Department Head, I want to reiterate how critical the salary issue is. First and foremost, we must address the salary *inversion* problem. I'm hiring three faculty this year (two outstanding candidates have accepted) and was able to do so due to the support of the University to offer competitive starting salaries. Unfortunately, doing so means that 4 of my 5 ASSOCIATE professors are now making $4-7K less than my brand new assistant professors. Three of these four are doing outstanding jobs and the fourth is definitely meeting expectations. Thus, this will be a bitter pill to swallow if the problem persists much longer. In addition, one of my recently promoted full professors is only making about $4k more ($71k) than these new profs will make. So, while I am all for increasing salaries across the board, the inversion and compression issues must be addressed *immediately* to preserve morale and not result in my losing extremely capable and seasoned associate professors who are well on their way toward promotion to full professor. I appreciate your attention to this issue!
Jan. 16, 2013 faculty While I understand trying to restrict the study so as to obtain a result in a short time frame, the limitation that this study include only full time instructional faculty is discouraging. There are a number of non-teaching faculty professionals on campus and we have been excluded from salary adjustments in the past, resulting in our falling even further behind our peers in industry. Also, it is often not possible to make changes in our job titles that have resulted in many in the administration receiving large salary increases during the period when the rest of us were receiving 0% raises. I'm not encouraged that K-State values the individuals who are the core of this institution and am among those who are considering leaving a good job and a nice community for better financial prospects.
Jan. 16, 2013 faculty Salaries are very personal and they are not only an important factor in supporting personal lives but they are also an expression of value to the institution and they provide a way for the institution to acknowledge the hard work that we all do. I think that the recommendations are addressing the key issues. The time frame for increases seems reasonable and the attention to the increments associated with promotion is very important as currently those percentages are extremely poor. In addition, I also agree with the idea of compensating promotions within the last 5 years to deal with potential compression, and agree with the recommendation for proactive retention measures. I think that all of the recommendations within the report are critical, but the financial outlay will be significant. There is no indication of where the financial resources are going to emerge from and without that part of the equation this could just be a pipe dream. One needs to be very careful about giving false hope in the area of salaries because if the institution does not deliver, there will be more faculty that seek to move to other institutions. If you give false hope, then you could end up exacerbating the retention issue.
Jan. 16, 2013 faculty I agree with the plan provided in the Faculty Compensation Task Force report. In particular, I think the final section of the report, which discusses the importance of having a proactive approach to salary increases, rather than a reactive one, is very important. I agree that KSU's current reactive approach to salary increases results in wasted time by faculty, who spend time searching for positions elsewhere that will pay more, rather than working on their research and teaching at KSU. I can immediately think of 3 friends/colleagues I work with at KSU who have been engaged in such searches over the last 2 years, which has resulted in them receiving salary increases. I also agree that KSU's current reactive approach lowers morale and leads to contagion of such searches by other faculty. Watching my colleagues’ searches and the salary increases they have received as a consequence, together with recognizing that my own grantsmanship has led to a negligible salary increase, and learning that my colleagues at other institutions who have had less success in grantsmanship nevertheless make considerably higher salaries than I do, all strongly suggest that I should be similarly searching for offers at other institutions. I also realize that this will seriously detract from my teaching and research productivity at KSU. This is unfortunate, but unless the Proactive approach to salary increases as suggested in the Faculty Compensation Task Force report is undertaken, I will likely be searching for better compensation elsewhere.
Jan. 16, 2013 staff_unclassified Is any progress being made into researching competitive compensation for Unclassified staff, not faculty?
Jan. 17, 2013 admin I am the department head and an associate professor in the Department of Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design. I read the report yesterday evening and I agree with it in principle. However, if you choose to implement specific details, I believe you should be clear that you are providing guidance to department heads and deans as they make specific decisions regarding salary adjustments for each member of the faculty. For example, I find item 1a on page 13 to be a particular problem if it is implemented without regard for the actual state of equity or inequity present for individual faculty members within their department. As head, I have made it a high priority to establish equity in faculty salaries in our department by giving equity raises in the last three fiscal years and implementing this recommendation would actually create significant inequities. Please remember that good department heads know what needs to be done to provide appropriate raises to faculty and their judgment should be trusted. Of course, those heads should be able to justify their decisions to deans and the provost. Good luck in the next steps of planning and implementing this effort. You can contact me at barbara@ksu.edu if you have questions.
Jan. 17, 2013 faculty This report is excellent--clear, direct, and honest. We need to act ASAP on those recommendations for which action is possible now.
Jan. 17, 2013 faculty On the whole, the document sets worthwhile goals, whose attainment is urgent. Among other reasons, one of the central attractions of offers from other institutions, as the report notes, an appropriate salary, disappears if these goals are reached and faculty initiative is rewarded. I particularly like "Appendix 2 – Tools to Increase KSU Faculty Salaries" A proposal: faculty who may have made very substantial contributions in research in these "lost years" of 2008-present (in the Humanities, for instance, publishing monographs with top presses), have received little or no recognition of this in salary enhancements. I propose that department Heads be directed to identify those people and increases should be applied. A caveat: to Appendix 2 – Tools to Increase KSU Faculty Salaries "1a. It is imperative to backfill promotions. Individuals who were promoted in the past 5 years become dramatically compressed by the change in promotional increment. Therefore, increases should be applied to promotions that were received in FY 09, 10, 11, 12, and 13, if the individuals have annually received met or exceeds expectations in their evaluations since that promotion." This should be corrected to include faculty promoted in the last SIX years (to include FY 08). Faculty promoted in FY 08 have also seen their salaries "dramatically compressed by the change in promotional increment." Compression will only continue for them as they go through the process of promotion (e.g., from Associate to Professor), which might last at least 1.5 -2.5 years from now, which would result in further "lost years."
Jan. 23, 2013 staff_unclassified In order to take a proactive approach to preventing salary compression, faculty/staff salaries should be adjusted across the university when new hires are brought in at a pay rate higher than our employees with more years of service. One of the advantages of attending K-State is the relatively low cost of attendance [and quality of life, happy students], how are these elements affected by 5% tuition increases to cover the cost of increasing faculty salaries. Especially if the faculty are not available to students, instructional contact is with a GTA, students are locked out of a classroom if they arrive (even if another professor held them late), etc. What will the students gain from the increased cost of attendance? After all without students this university would not exist. Was cost of living considered when making the salary comparisons? If not, it should be a major element in determining parity with other universities. Instructors are eligible for promotion if they are hired on a probationary appointment (see handbook section C12). Major concern with Proposal 4: Is the committee saying K-State should grant non-merit raises based on membership in a protected group (race, gender, etc.)? Even non-merit salary increases should comply with Title VII and there should be consideration given to the implications of the Lilly Ledbetter Act in making reparations if employees are receiving an inequitable salary based on their membership in a protected group. Does the task force have the authority to mandate how departments will restore salary equity? If Administration has the authority to mandate such a proposal, I would advise developing a plan that is in compliance with Title VII and Ledbetter.
Feb. 2, 2013 staff_unclassified Throughout the great design of thgnis you get an A+ for hard work. Where you confused everybody was first on all the specifics. As it is said, details make or break the argument.. And that couldn't be much more correct at this point. Having said that, permit me inform you what exactly did do the job. The text is definitely pretty engaging and this is most likely why I am making an effort to opine. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. Secondly, while I can easily see a jumps in logic you make, I am not confident of just how you appear to unite your points that make the actual final result. For right now I shall subscribe to your point but trust in the foreseeable future you actually link the facts better.
Feb. 13, 2013 faculty A very thorough report. But once again, the Salina campus is left in the cold. I understand the limitations of getting a very thorough report out in two months, especially on a topic that is a vested interest of many, many people and who will all have different opinions on how to address this issue. But leaving Salina out, without mentioning if they too will have their own report in the future, makes me feel like the "One K-State" idea is only for when it's convenient, like for PR events. I support the K-State family on all campuses, but how can I continue to put forth time and energy into supporting things like K-State 2025 if the same attention doesn't seem to be coming back to our campus?
Feb. 19, 2013 staff_unclassified I am concerned that unclassified staff salaries are not competitive with the same peer institutions. I do not see this being addressed. If you don not have a good support staff that is also adequately compensated then you are not going to be able to retain them to be able to meet 2025 goals. You cannot have staff turnover based on the same reasons that you deal with in faculty and be able to advance. I do hope that this is being taken into consideration and being addressed.
Feb. 19, 2013 faculty There are many good suggestions and strategies in this report. They should ALL be implemented ASAP; we have dug this hole for a few decades and it is well past time to start filling it in.
Feb. 20, 2013 staff_unclassified I understand that unclassified staff are a part of this and are involved in the discussion but unclassified staff are very poorly paid here and we lose great, K-State lovers every week to better pay in all directions. The unclassified staff create and keep running some of the key things faculty and staff use and we are not just button pushers. This is a high knowledge, high functioning group of professionals and you are losing all of them.
Feb. 20, 2013 staff_unclassified I just want to make sure academic advisors aren't forgotten in this process. Our job descriptions and levels of responsibility vary greatly from college to college, but our pays remain similar. Some of us function in more of a Dean's office role and are required to be able to perform a much larger range of tasks but are paid the same as other advisors across campus that do nothing else but see students all day every day. I think there needs to be some review and pay bumps for those of us advisors that are far closer to a Dean's office role than an advisor.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty I have been at KSU since 1978 and am very pleased with my salary and have no negative comments at all. I believe the administration has been doing their best to provide us with the level of salary fitting to our performance and productivity. I am have no negative comments about my salary at KSU at all. Charge on!!!
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty There seems to be great variation in advising and teaching loads for graduate faculty within the same college. While grants and contracts, research, etc., interest in the discipline, etc., may account for some of this differential, changes need to be made in faculty salaries and in faculty load that provide greater rewards for teaching online and for having larger numbers of advisees and classes. I would suggest that each college find a way for faculty to review advising and teaching loads and seek greater parity.
Feb. 20, 2013 staff_unclassified My concern is there is nothing about unclassified staff. I understand Faculty are important, but there are many unclassified staff that are just as important that work hard and sometime do two jobs but are essentially forgotten in this process. As as example, if you look at my title across campus, I am in the bottom 15% for salary, but I also have the added responsibility beyond my job title of teaching a class and advising a student club on campus. Maybe we could look at evening out some of those unclassified staff that are far behind others with the same job title. There is another person with the same title in the same college and I am that does not teach, and yet he makes $21,000 more a year than I do. I have been in my position 3 years longer than he has.
Feb. 20, 2013 staff_unclassified If staff are valued they will be compensated for the value they bring to their position. The longer someone has been with the University the more value they bring to their job. The current rate of increases does not reflect that this work is valued. New people should not be brought in at the same or higher rates than current peers unless there is evidence of why their experience warrents this.
Feb. 20, 2013 staff_unclassified I think that the the over-weighting of merit-based salary increases is justified and will help retain the best people. I would like to see a similar (or even identical) proposal be enacted for unclassified staff.
Feb. 20, 2013 staff_unclassified What is the plan for constituents who fell out of scope of this report?
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty Excellent analysis. It should be implemented as a priority item. It is crucial to increase all faculty salaries to a peer-base as well as implement the suggested merit related approaches. Lost time must be made up.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty Reading the report, it is painfully obvious that faculty salaries at K-State are inadequate if we are serious about reaching the 2025 goal. If we are to reach the 2025 goal, it will be mainly due to the efforts of faculty, not administrators. Among colleagues in my department, the current salary situation is causing a serious downward trend in faculty morale. It seems like more and more upper level administration positions are being created, without any serious effort to help faculty. Every time a new upper level administration position is created, or a new building project is announced, I think about how that money could have been used towards faculty salaries. Something drastic needs to be done. The time for just talking about it is past. The report lays out a plan that makes sense and at least will get us to the point of being average in terms of salaries. That would be a big improvement. I sincerely hope that something like this is begun soon, or the situation will continue to get worse.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty from my perspective salary compression is being greatly aggravated by the freeze or near-freeze on salaries over the past 5 or so years. New assistant prof. hires must be offered competitive salaries--which are higher than the associate prof. salaries in the same department. Your recommendation of an immediate increase in tenured salaries is a very good one.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty It is important to note that the mean is not the most accurate measure of people's salaries- the median is. Averages are pulled up and down by outliers at the bottom and/or top of the income distribution. I whole-heartedly agree with the recommendations made in this report. My morale and desire to work hard for this university is affected by my low salary in addition to a general feeling that we are constantly getting "stick" in all areas instead of "carrots". We are constantly being told to do more with less and it is demoralizing, causes disillusionment, and a real lack of motivation. I have come to feel that those that work hard for the university are "suckers" that devalue themselves and their time. Finally, I am further disheartened by the 2025 plan's emphasis on non social science departments. The social sciences are an important part of science and education. They do important work and develop critical, thoughtful individuals with real skills. Ignoring them, their contributions, and their way of measuring good work is a real mistake.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty Why are male salaries higher than females with same education and responsibilities?
Feb. 20, 2013 admin I read this report a few weeks ago and thought it was thoughtful, clear, realistic, and should lead to improvements in this area. I would come up with more compliments if I could think of them! I hope the recommendations can be funded. This working group should be commended.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty The University is not going to attain the Top 50 status on the cheap. The competition for research dollars is going to become even more intense, those top 50 will not roll over. Accolades and atta boys are not going to motivate current faculty and certainly will not entice top researchers to come to KSU. Until the University faces the facts that being paid the least of all Big 12 and Peer institutions for 20 years, the status quo will be maintained. Increasing tuition is not the answer, cutting overhead - ie the excessive growth in University adminstration and directing that to faculty salaries would go far. Seeing all the executive level administrative positions added with 6 figure salaries and staff certainly does not motivate the faculty. Finally, if the administration is not willing to tackle the problem of inadequate salaries, the faculty will be forced toward organizing and establishing a professional faculty union. A strike by faculty would not be a positive public relations moment.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty I think the Task Force has done an admirable job of assessing and describing the salary problem and made excellent proposals for solving the inequity problems faced by faculty at K-State. The goals of 2025 cannot be reached off the backs of underpaid faculty. It is fine to set aggressive goals like 2025 as long as the work that goes into facilitating the attainment of those goals is equally (or in this case, more) aggressive. I would like to see K-State faculty thought of as "expensive, but worth it".
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty Thank you for taking this topic seriously. I support whatever it takes to make faculty salaries more competitive with peer institutions. For years, K-State could pay lower salaries because the cost of living in MHK was relatively low. That is no longer the case. With the cost of living rising rapidly, the salary gap has made employment at KSU less attractive. KSU's quality will slip if we can't attract or keep quality faculty. I believe in investing in the institution. Also, please be sure you also prioritize the salaries of non-research faculty. While I appreciate the 2025 research push, the practitioner professors also provide important value to the students and the university. I teach courses in an area that requires a professional degree and license, which I have. I have worked in that professional area. The tenured professor who also teaches the course does not have that professional degree and license, nor does the professor have any practical experience in the area. The tenured prof is critical to the university and students' success, but so am I. Practitioner profs are uniquely qualified to teach students the skills to get and keep jobs, because we've DONE those jobs. Yet, we are not as valued as the research professors. Research is critical to a university's success, but so is producing graduates who have the skills and abilities to work in non-research jobs (the majority of careers). Please value your instructors and other non-tenured professors in your faculty salary adjustments.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty I have been at K-State for 46 years. I have seen many similar studies of where, why, and how we lag behind other universities. The last time the State of Kansas made any effort to correct the salary deficit was 1988-1990 with the so-called Margin of Excellence. The state promised a three-year program of 8% per year average increases. They did two years and quit. Since then, the state has been reducing state funding and tying faculty salary increases to the increases for all state employees. So, the state is not a source of correcting the salary deficit. Tuition has been used recently, but, we are bonding buildings, making other improvements to facilities and programs, hiring new administrators, all betting on increasing enrollment of out of state students and increased tuition especially for those students. This is making long term commitments of short term money. Private funding can target chairs, but not general faculty salary increases. So, as good as this study is, it shows us how far behind we are, what would be needed to make modest gains on our peers, but it does not say how we can get the permanent base money to get the job done. Perhaps the administrators can answer this question.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty I feel odd that the mean faculty salary increase 3.5% in 2011-12 year while the faculty overall has only received 1% increase for half of the year. Some people must have received significant increases!
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty I commend the task force for thier efforts. Unfortunately a 'one size fits all' approach will not work well in my opinion. For example, I believe setting a single amount ($10,800) for promotions unproductive. Yes it is an improvement over the current formula but not adequate. $10,800 may be a large increase in some fields but it is actually quite small in other fields. As a consequence salaries will equalized across campus but may be very different than market rates in respective fields. The promotion award amounts should be based on a some sort of percentage formula. The goal this task force should be getting people closer to the target salaries in their respective fields. Since faculty in some fields are more underpaid relative to their peers nationally than faculty in other fields, the one size fits all approach to 'some' parts fo the plan should be revisited.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty 1. This is a very nice report that addresses 9 month, not 12 month faculty salary. In my college, we are 12 month positions mostly. Compared to peer institutions, faculty (all ranks) pay is 8-12K below peers. In contrast based upon our dept, professors in the dept make 18-22k below peers. The gap in the university report and in our college is wider at the professor range due to compression. 2. Where will the dollars come from to address the gap? Has a plan been formulated?
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty It is encouraging that this salary issue may be addressed, though the encouragement only lasts if there are real results. It has been rather discouraging when any increases were swallowed up by increases in withholding. For example, January actually had a net decrease in take-home pay. It is also discouraging when you need to have another revenue source to be able to send your child to K-State. I would not have anticipated this would be the case 20 years after receiving my doctorate.
Feb. 20, 2013 staff_unclassified Overall the plan shows definite progress for salary equability and compression concerns particularly at the professorial level. To what extent will the professional unclassified staff receive compensation / compression adjustments? Many of us have worked a number of years with ever increasing levels of responsibility historically held by faculty or dean-level positions. This particular group is left out of salary talks. Faculty and classified staff have mechanisms in place whereas this group does not have equal representation that I am aware of.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty One way salaries get compressed is that when getting the 8% and 11% for promotions, the amount is not adjusted between 9 and 12 month faculty. How is it fair that a 9 month person gets the same amount as a 12 month person? This penalizes the 12 month person who doesn't have the same opportunity to gain extra income by teaching summer school or using grant funds for summer salaries. Basically, 9 and 12 month people get pretty much the same base salary, and then the 9 month people quickly begin making more from the other funding sources they have available. This should be addressed and isn't something I see in the report. Thank you.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty On the whole the document identifies the main issue and proposes several options for helping to alleviate the problem. I was surprised that some options, such as bonuses for grants and publications, were not suggested. Similarly, providing award dollars as part of base pay as opposed to one time awards would benefit those people who excel across many aspects of university life. Also, I note that distinguished professors were not mentioned. Although a small group, they are the cream of the professorate and the average salary for that group is not that much higher than that of full professors. There should be an appropriate bump for those people - in past years that group has left the university at a high rate. My last comment is that talk is cheap - this issue is discussed ad nauseum and nothing happens. The report needs to be USED.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty The report is thorough and well thought out. It is a reasonable document in that is simply asking the university to increase salaries to be competitive with the mean of our peer institutions. If the administration's intention is to ask the faculty to do more to reach the goals of 2025, compensation for such efforts is needed. An initial investment is needed immediately to begin to catch up since our peers will likely continue to advance rather than stand still and wait for us to catch up. There needs to be a change of priority as future budget decisions are made.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty Overall - good report and ideas. Where do we get the funding? Isn't that always the challenge at KSU? I am concerned that there isn't a way of increasing $ on faculty lines for new hires (or I missed that in the report). We have faculty retiring at such low salaries that we can't be competitive in making new hires for their positions.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty A timely report with strong data and obvious conclusions based on the data.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty Page 6 of the report notes that the investment cost (and the loss) is much higher for those faculty who choose to leave the university at the associate/full professor ranks because the institution has made longer-term investments in them. Other than startup funds when first hired and the 1-3 sabbatical leaves that a seasoned professor might enjoy during their career, I'm not aware of other tangible investments made by the university for the benefit of their faculty... Perhaps this is actually part of the issue with salary discontent AND an opportunity for a future strategy?
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty An important thing to consider with strategies to improve faculty compensation is the significant college-to-college variation in salaries among professors with similar skillsets and research expertise. I am aware of upwards of a $20K disparity in compensation among professors of similar rank simply because of the college in which a faculty member finds themselves part of... For most, the lesson is don't get hired by the College of Arts & Sciences unless you have to!
Feb. 20, 2013 admin This is very helpful. Thank you for your time and suggestions for improvement.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty We do have to wonder if a gain of less than 2 % over the inflation rate averaged over 35 years is adequate recompense for consistently above average service to the university. But that is where we are for people who stuck with it that long. Do the math for yourself folks. See how you compare. Most economists would consider this a poor return on investment. It will be great if you can actually make this happen.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty 1) We need to create a system that is rewarding loyalty of productive faculty. 2) Our graduate students' stipends in the STEM disciplines (or, basically, in all disciplines) have to be compatible with institutions among the Top 50 public research universities. Otherwise we will lose the competition for first class domestic students.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty Establish a salary schedule for instructors - similar to what K-12 uses. This rewards not only years of service, but compensation for professional development and/or additional coursework to stay current in their field.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty The task force has developed an excellent plan, and the administration should work very hard to fulfill it. Without this improvement in faculty salaries, the 2025 goal is out of reach.
Feb. 20, 2013 staff_unclassified The report outlines an ambitious but admirable process. Being a former faculty member of another institution, and now a member of the unclassified staff here, I observe that there does not seem to be much "equity" in the structure of unclassified staff salaries here at K-State compared to other institutions of similar size and scope, let alone our "peers". It would likely be prohibitively expensive to hire consultants to evaluate all unclassified staff positions and their accompanying salaries, but there must be some way of evaluating accomplishment and/or function that is rational and consistent across all administrative offices. The significant salary raises given to Provost Office staff shortly after the arrival of Provost Mason during a "salary freeze" were quick fodder for the rumor mill and were morale-deflating to the rest of the unclassified staff. While we each privately think we work hard, how does one measure the value of one's work against the value to the operation of the institution? One problem may be the fact that few unclassified staff are "wooed" to K-State, but rather are often family members who "tag along" and find employment in a city with few other opportunities to market their talents. Or, perhaps local long-term residents are hired, acquire skills over time and become important contributors to the essential tasks of educating our citizens, but are taken for granted because they have ties to the area that make them unlikely to look elsewhere for employment. Some staff positions are perhaps relics of old administrative function and could be eliminated or reconfigured, but no one seems to be interested in doing the difficult work of making decisions based on effectiveness. If anyone is noticing, we have just as much trouble recruiting talented unclassified staff as we do faculty and the reason is the same....salaries. Bottom line: unclassified productivity will continue to diminish as we fail to employ the "brightest and best" in the areas of student services, information systems and other administrative functions. If soon there is not a comparable effort to restructure the unclassified staff salaries similarly to the faculty goals espoused in the Faculty Compensation Report then conditions will continue to deteriorate. The lofty goals of 2025 will not materialize solely by improving the faculty situation. The budget goals for faculty salary improvement may as well be doubled if staff salaries are to be evaluated and improved as well.
Feb. 20, 2013 staff_unclassified To be honest, I think we are all getting paid enough.
Feb. 20, 2013 staff_unclassified Unclassified staff should also receive a similar compensation of salaries. Some of us have moved from faculty positions to administrative jobs. This then becomes a big disadvantage for us. As Administrators, we are in leadership positons with tremendous amounts of responsibilities, but are falling through the cracks as far as salary and compensation is concerned.
Feb. 20, 2013 staff_unclassified I think that it is great that we want to bring our faculty up to the average salary in comparison to the top 10 peer institutions. They are quite significant salary increases. What about the Professional Staff salary increases? I feel that if faculty are getting steep salary increases, professional staff should as well.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty Finally. I appreciate that faculty compensation is taken seriously and that the data are now at hand on how big this gap is. The steps outlined look reasonable, the question is were the funding will be coming from.
Feb. 20, 2013 faculty The report certainly does an excellent job of diagnosing and documenting the problem of faculty salaries. Its proposals for using funds to alleviate that problem through a variety of mechanisms are sound as well. It does nothing, however, to suggest how to solve the biggest problem: where are the funds to come from? In essence, it says "assuming we have a big pile of money to increase faculty salaries, here's one way of doing that." Their way of increasing faculty salaries is fine. I still don't see where the pile of money is going to come from.
Feb. 20, 2013 staff_unclassified This task force was only looked at restructuring faculty salaries. I would like to see a comprehensive plan that takes into account the rest of the administration and staff, who are also underpaid in comparison to peers. The administration and staff play an important role in attaining the 2025 goals. These staff will not be able to stay at Kansas State if the salaries do not keep up with cost of living increases.
Feb. 20, 2013 staff_unclassified This task force was only looked at restructuring faculty salaries. I would like to see a comprehensive plan that takes into account the rest of the administration and staff, who are also underpaid in comparison to peers. The administration and staff play an important role in attaining the 2025 goals. These staff will not be able to stay at Kansas State if the salaries do not keep up with cost of living increases.
Feb. 20, 2013 staff_unclassified Is there is a plan to insure that all of the unclassified staff will receive notice about how the issue will be treated and addressed, who will be part of the process, how a review process will be implemented, and what will be done with the final recommendations? I would like for the issue of unclassified salaries to be treated with the same seriousness and speed as are the faculty issues.
Feb. 21, 2013 staff_unclassified I see that they are not going to do anything about the unclassified salaries again. I was promoted about 16 yr ago to management. From classified to unclassified so I hired one off the people that applied for my management position he now makes 11k more than I do because classified positions have been renamed and still have to do there evaluations. They have taken one off the classified position from my department so I have to work lots off hour to make this operation run smoothly. Tried off work three jobs and waiting for my daughter to graduate so I can move to a different job offers. The forgotten unclassified management
Feb. 21, 2013 faculty The report addresses numerous critical and important issues regarding salaries at KSU. I am in complete agreement with most of it. It is disheartening and unmotivating to receive barely any increase at all while the president (and possibly other administrator(s) receive (a) substantive raise(s). Personally, and something that was not addressed in the report, I would prefer to see everyone receive a cost of living raise of equal percent, with an additional percent then devoted to merit. Our raises have not begun to keep up with the cost of living for as long as I've been here. Another thing that was not addressed is the dilemma for 9-month faculty who do not even have the option or choice to receive their salary over a 12-month period. It is beyond my comprehension why, when it existed and was an option here before I came that it is no longer an option. It poses an extreme hardship and undue stress on faculty, especially those who are single-income households with no other source of income. Two HR people met with faculty and instructors who were able to attend in my college to address this issue. However, I found the HR people to be extremely negative as well as insulting and condescending to us. They did not come to listen; they came to be negative and try to convince us not to do this. They did everything but come right out and accuse us of not being able to manage our money, which is far from the case. They demonstrated no empathy, active listening skills, or other characteristics I would expect from someone in their position. They treated us like we were stupid, e.g., telling us that our retirement contributions would be smaller -- as though trying to convince us that we were dumb enough to think it wouldn't add up to the same amount at the end of the year. This is representative of the disrespectful tactics and approach they took with us. When one instructor asked them how they would like to receive their pay over only 9 months, they did not have an answer. They said they looked at what other peer institutions were doing. When asked which institutions, they could not provide a name and then finally came up with the name of one institution, which was NOT a peer institution. They were asked if they checked with Iowa State because the person knew for a fact that ISU offers this option. The same person also indicated the entire SUNY system offers this option. However, the HR people had not and were not aware of this. It appears they sought only information to support their personal desires and views. The HR people tried to say that it would cost too much, be labor intenstive, and that they might have to hire another person to handle this and that this would be a major factor from offering this option. Personally, I have evaluated and implemented enough databases and software, along with migrating one OS to others to know that if what these people were saying was true, then there were several things this suggests: (1) there was a poor decision made regarding the software for HR in the first place, (2) the people there don't know what they're doing, (3) HR plainly just doesn't want to offer this, (4) it makes no sense why we can't have this as an option because KSU employees had this option before I came here. The HR people could not answer the question regarding when it changed so 9 month people did not have a choice to have their salary over a 12-month period. It remains incomprehensible to me why, especially given our already low salaries, why 9 month people are not offered an option of taking their salary over a 12 month period. The database already has to have employees with varying pay periods ranging from hourly, to semester, to 12 month, to 9 month, at the very least. It creates an extreme and stressful hardship for 9 month people. The HR people also insinuated we were not capable of saving our money. I begin saving my money every fall to be sure I have enough money to live on during the summer, but it is still stressful and something we should not have to do.
Feb. 21, 2013 faculty I greatly appreciate the work of the committee and their report. I do think the recommendations of greater step increases will help those that have recently been promoted; however, Professors in the system for 20 years will soon by passed by those just recently promoted. Targeted dollars that can be used by department heads to reward high productivity faculty at the Professor level are also needed. Some are woefully undervalued relative to their peers in industry. The main faculty at professor level that are not undervalued are: 1) low performers; 2) administrators; 3) have been hired from another institution at high salary; or 4) shopped their services and received pay raise to stay. Highly productive professors that don't fit these categories lag their value more than any other faculty group. Targeted dollars administered by department heads is the only way to address this group.
Feb. 21, 2013 faculty The report looks to be a good step in the right direction of doing something about the terrible salary situation at KSU. The Task Force has made some excellent recommendations about much-needed steps that can and SHOULD be taken. The only thing I would have liked to see more on would have involved explicitly addressing long-term salary compression problems at the Associate and Full Professor ranks, particularly for faculty who have continued to be productive in research and publication.
Feb. 21, 2013 faculty Excellant report. Implementable recommendations. Administration should accept the recommendations and look for funding options.
Feb. 22, 2013 staff_unclassified I noticed that the Faculty Compensation Task force has decided only to focus on full-time instructional staff in their recommendations and not unclassified staff. I think that we should also try to be competitive in the staff compensation. I recently joined KSU last fall. I loved the campus atmosphere and my department, however the salary was a little questionable. If we're looking at the salary national averages for professors, I believe we should be doing the same thing for staff, in all areas. Kansas State University is important due to everyone on campus, not just the people in the classroom. Let's be fair; especially in any type of compensation report towards K-State 2025! Thank you.
Feb. 22, 2013 staff_unclassified Unclassified Staff ALSO need to be addressed.
Feb. 22, 2013 staff_unclassified I want to thank the Task Force for the report. You did an excellent job given the short amount of time you had to do it. Although I am unclassified staff, I support your strategies/recommendations to increase faculty salaries and hope the university can implement them. Thanks again, Diana Blake
Feb. 22, 2013 faculty I'd like to commend the committee for their thorough review and creative suggestions. I agree with their recommendations. As a faculty member who moved to Kansas State right after earning tenure and a promotion at another institution, I can vouch for the necessity to increase the percentage salary increase associated with promotions. At my prior institution, the standard increase for promotion from assistant to associate and from associate to full was 11.9% of the individual's current salary - not an average of all faculty salaries. Compared to this increase, a raise of 8% of the faculty average was a major difference in my situation. I believe retention would be greatly enhanced with an increase to the promotion salary raises. An increase of 15% for both steps would be a very attractive mechanism to keep faculty here.
Feb. 22, 2013 staff_unclassified If I understand correctly, unclassified staff compensation is going to be considered in a separate report, but I see salary of unclassified staff having an effect on faculty performance. In addition to faculty, unclassified staff at KSU (particularly in my area of international programs) are not compensated at the same level as peer institutions. Advisors, housing, student life, and other administrative staff provide the appropriate level of support to students and faculty so that both can thrive in an academically dynamic environment. Just as compensating faculty at lower rates than peer institutions makes it difficult to attract or retain talented faculty, the same is true for unclassified staff. When KSU loses talented unclassified staff to higher paying institutions, this negatively affects the overall student experience at KSU. Which, in turn, reduces retention rates for the university. When this happens, the support provided by unclassified staff can fall on a faculty member's shoulders, which takes away from his/her time spent on research or teaching responsibilities. While I completely agree that faculty should be compensated at least at the same level as peer institutions, those faculty aren't going to be able to perform at high levels if they (and their students) are properly supported by the unclassified staff. Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback
Feb. 22, 2013 faculty I read the task force report with growing dismay and depression. Since I was asked this year to write a letter of recommendation for an assistant professor who was told by his department head to seek an outside offer since no other way to receive a raise was available, I can testify to the report's threat that excellent faculty will be lost, and to the fact that both the offer-seeking individuals and those who are their references divert time that would be better spent elsewhere. I am a bit disgusted by the continuing minuscule "cost of living" raises that we are given, even though we are required each year to assemble copious materials for "merit review" and I spent last year serving on the dept committee charged with this "merit review" for all members of the dept. What a waste of time. I cannot imagine putting any energy into designing new, more demanding ways to "aspire" to Vision 2025's lofty goals when we're losing ground--not even holding our own--in terms of general faculty salaries. The tools outlined in the report--especially called for "backfilling" adjustments for all those who were promoted in the past five years--strike me as responsible and unassailable in their clarity and logic. I hope that central administration will put them all into effect immediately, and will continue to report clearly and accurately how we are doing in reaching--or missing--the benchmarks.
Feb. 23, 2013 faculty I found the report to be extremely well done, and support it strongly. We continue to lose current faculty to other schools due to poor salary and research support, and also find it difficult to compete in attracting new faculty. The CBA has lost three top candidates to the University of Nebraska in the last year alone (Strategy/Entrepreneurship, Operations Management, and Finance, not to mention our recruiting director). We lost another recent OM candidate to Southern Illinois, where they were paying $13K more than our top authorized amount. With strategy/entrepreneurship, we were $10-$15K below competitors, and lost valuable time in negotiating additional funds in order to make an offer in range of what other schools were paying. Many schools also give course reductions for the first year, guarantee a single or minimal preps, summer support for three to six summers (through tenure), and/or a research semester during the third year. Not only do we fail to be competitive on salary, but we can't match the other benefits either. For current faculty, it is depressing to know that at nearly any other school of equivalent quality, we could be making $20K to $30K more for doing the same amount of work (true also at some non-research oriented institutions like Wichita State!). We also lack ongoing access to research support (GAs, library databases, funding, courseload reductions, etc.) needed in order for us to contribute maximally to Vision 2025. People can forgive a $5K gap for a good climate and nice community, but $20K to $30K is another story entirely. Honestly, I don't know very many younger faculty who don't watch the market and consider the best timing to make a move to where they will feel better appreciated and compensated.
Feb. 25, 2013 staff_unclassified Addressing unclassified professional staff salaries should be considered a high priority also. Right now there is a Faculty Senate and an Classified Senate, but no Unclassified Professional Staff senate. We were merged with the Faculty Senate and I believe we outnumber the faculty but the representation isn't on par with the population. Several of the representatives still consider themselves faculty because that's there background and that's how they vote, without considering who they should be representing.
Feb. 26, 2013 faculty I think you did a good job identifying the problem and coming up with solutions that promote both equity and a salary structure. This university has a real problem with equity, not just with peer institutions but with peers in departments, colleges, and across the university. And it has lacked any meaningful structure--the salaries people get are the product of an ad hoc, personalistic, and ideosyncratic decisions made by deans and heads and evaluation committees. Although I will likely not benefit from your proposals (I will likely retire before they kick in), I see them as welcome and long overdue. But I worry that much of the implementation will be left to annual evaluation committees and department heads, who in the past have promoted inequality rather than equity. I do not think they will do anything to promote equity, but instead us their authority to reward some and not others, which will simply perpetuate salary inequality. If I were you, I would deny them this opportunity and form a compensation committee at the university level to make sure that the money made available to a compensation pool reaches the people who need it and deserve it. Quite frankly, the department heads and evaluation committees are incapable of doing so. Of course, that's what they were initially asked to do: to rank people in each department and then give raises to people who were more highly ranked. This did not promote equity, and it did not provide much of an incentive either, it simply promoted inequality and anger. It would be difficult now to task them with the job of promoting equity--they wouldn't know how (and I don't think they'd want to either). In any event, good luck.
Feb. 27, 2013 faculty Why not consider online/distance education fee to supplement individual instructors' salary? This was on the recommendations of the previous faculty senate report
Feb. 27, 2013 faculty Has there been any consideration of full professors who have been in rank for over 10 years and whom have only had 1-3% raises throughout the years despite exceeds expectations evaluation all through the years and are making almost as much associate professors?
Feb. 27, 2013 faculty The university is involved in many plans for expansion. This means more responsibilities for faculty and staff. The sense among many is that attempting such expansion on the backs of underpaid faculty and staff is deeply problematic. I can see that it is already generating mistrust and lower morale. Some talented people have exited or are looking elsewhere for their employment. Best of luck in addressing this problem, which goes to the heart of the university's mission.
Feb. 27, 2013 faculty It is imperative to backfill promotions, agreed. But should increases only be applied to promotions that were received in FY 09, 10, 11, 12, and 13? What about those received in FY 2008 or 2007?
Feb. 27, 2013 staff_unclassified Somebody needs to look at the structure of the Division of Student Life and how compensation is determined. Inequities abound.
March 5, 2013 faculty Here's yet one more reason why 9-month faculty should have the option to receive their salary over a 12-month period. (Note that not all faculty have the option to teach in the summer and/or even if they do, their classes may not have enough enrollment for them to teach.) In what follows from HR, HR notes that faculty may want to begin planning early for this -- March is not early enough in my opinion and faculty should have been notified at the beginning of the academic year. This information will affect all faculty who are on 9-month appointments Summer 2013 will have 7 Pay Periods There will be seven summer pay periods this summer. The first summer pay period will begin 5/12/2013 and the last summer pay period will end 8/17/2013. Nine month employees will have seven unpaid summer pay periods unless they have summer school or summer appointments. Nine month employees with summer school appointments will have at least one unpaid pay period during this summer –most likely the first pay period. These employees may want to begin early planning for this situation. Contact Julie Henton at jkhenton@ksu.edu if you have concerns. ********** Fall 2013 Academic Contract Start Date will be August 18, 2013 Based on the University Handbook's requirement (see excerpt below) that the nine month appointee's salary is paid beginning with the first pay date in September, the first pay period of the academic year for Fall 2013 will begin on August 18, 2013. The check date will be September 13, 2013. Contracts for 9 month employees should begin August 18, 2013 and end May 24, 2014. University Handbook: C22.3 A nine-month appointee's salary is paid bi-weekly beginning the first pay date in September. Full or part-time summer teaching or other duties may be available for nine-month faculty members as determined by need and resources and at the discretion of the department head.
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March 7, 2013 faculty This plan has potential, provided funding can be found for it. I attended the Faculty Senate session back in May 2012 and was disappointed in the administration's response to the issue - telling us they can't ask donors for $$ for faculty salaries, for example (I know other universities that have done so successfully), or asking us to figure out how to fill the gap. I don't mean to be flippant, but that's (part of) what administration is paid to do. This whole issue seemed to take them by surprise, and it shouldn't have. I've been at K-State well over a decade and love it here, but I will be leaving this spring to take a job at a regional master's comprehensive university at what amounts to a 20% raise - and in a place where cost of living and housing is much lower. I perform at a high level and did not want to leave K-State, but felt I had no choice financially, given the cost of living and housing in Manhattan. When the message to faculty is, "if you want a raise, go get an outside offer," your faculty already have one foot out the door. As the reports states, bad for morale, and a good way to lose good people. If you want to reach the goals of 2025, find a way to implement this plan.
March 7, 2013 gta As an undergraduate student here, I was always critical of policies that could increase tuition, but am in full support of this. Keeping and attracting the best faculty is a must to improve Kansas State.
March 7, 2013 Student K-State is an incredible school that gives students the most bang for our buck. And I don't mind investing in the school that has invested so much in me. K-State was/is my Harvard, and I want everyone else to know it, too. In order for K-State to be the best, we have to have and RETAIN the best. Many faculty members leave the world of academia to pursue higher salaries in their respective industries, and they have every right to. No one WANTS to pay more for anything, but I know that it is essential for K-State to be able to grow and improve. In conclusion, K-State is a family unlike any other university, and we market ourselves as such. But one critically overlooked member of our family is the faculty members that work day in and day out to make us an extraordinary academic experience. They deserve to be treated like family, so let's show them the family love, too.
March 8, 2013 Student "Excellent faculty members are critical to K-State’s goal of becoming a top-50 public research university as defined by K-State 2025." If this is the case, some of the current professors need to be reevaluated. We have to many professors that continually get bad reviews from students yet nothing is done. This needs to be addressed.
March 8, 2013 student Our faculty do not need to be striving to be above the peer average faculty salaries benchmark. If we were above the peer average (101.3% goal in 2018) then we should be attracting Harvard level professors and weeding out the professors that continually get bad reviews by students. Instead of such a lofty goal, we should be striving for a middle range salary (90-95% range). Along with this, if current faculty is looking for an increase in pay they need to be reevaluated based on the level of satisfaction that students have with the teaching style. Far too often professors that are here care too much about their research and not enough about the students. We need to remember the K-State way. Putting students first.
March 10, 2013 faculty I am non-teaching faculty. Too often these efforts work to correct the salary deficiencies of teaching faculty while ignoring members of the professional staff who are paid well below there peers. This appears to be happening yet again.
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March 13, 2013 faculty Many thanks to this Task Force who worked dilegently to provide this helpful report "Structuring Faculty Salries Towards K-State 2025 and Beyond" at this crucial transition period. As a now thriving three campus university, this report clearly reflects the commitment, investment, passion and care provided by our faculty in spite of decades of less than comparable salaries of like institutions.  We know this to be the K-State Way! We even advertise our friendly campus environment and helpful, caring faculty and staff in television commercials and printed ads. The K-State Way is part of who we are, but needs to be improved upon and enhanced as we advance our programs, facilities and ask more of our human resources. Now, to continue to move forward from our past normal to the important goals and advancements of 2025, retainment, recruitment and faculty satisfaction is integral to our success! I do believe salary adjustments are needed across the board for faculty, this report reflect so. We currently have some faculty now that if their pay was spread out over 12 months their children would be eligible for the "reduced lunch plan" at their local public school. Beyond across the board salary adjustments to come in line like institutions, I also like the idea of an added faculty incentive structure for special specific accomplishments. High achieving colleagues who do great things, earn high awards, bring great recognition to our wonderful university would receive incentive pay. Perhaps better support with employee/dependent tuition assistance, more available faculty development funds and increased conference travel allowances would help active, hard-working faculty advance and do more? I clearly look forward to improvements in this area of faculty compensation. If pandering, indecision, delay or marginal increases happen, 2025 may be a much greater challenge than we hope. Let's move forward while we now have wonderful momentum advancing our university across many fronts. Go K-State, Go Cats!
March 13, 2013 faculty The Faculty Senate minutes from March 12th will record the task force's intent that the strategies and recommendations proposed in the report be applied to Salina faculty as well as Manhattan's. Thank you for this important clarification, underscoring Salina's shared investment in Vision 2025. (Pg 4:)"The intent of the task force was to develop tools and strategies that could be implemented for all faculty appointments as defined in section C10 of the University Handbook."
March 14, 2013 faculty It will be very disheartening if the salary situation is addressed for K-State faculty in Manhattan, but ignored in Salina and/or Olathe. The report indicates that the recommendations pertain only to Manhattan faculty. It is not clear to me why the other campuses are not included in the recommendations. If anything, salaries on outlying campuses are less competitive than our colleagues on the main campus, and are in more dire need of attention. Faculty retention in Salina particularly has been an issue for a variety of factors. We have seen several promising scholars come and go over the past several years, and while salary may be only part of that equation, it must certainly be a factor. If Manhattan finds it difficult to attract and retain excellent faculty, Salina finds it even more so. Manhattan has all of the trappings of a research 1 institution, while Salina has little to offer in that regard. Salina does have its own unique, attractive benefits, but on the whole it is a much harder sell for recruiting and retention of talented faculty. In short, please don't ignore the fact that Salina needs as much or more financial support in the way of salaries as Manhattan does.
March 14, 2013 faculty I do not think we can attain the goals of 2025 with the current level of compensation for faculty and staff.
March 14, 2013 faculty I believe that this report gives no regard to non-tenure track faculty.