Budget causes pay concerns

In light of University President Troy Paino’s departure, the American Association of University Professors is facing an uncertain future in terms of its desire to increase faculty pay.

The AAUP met with Paino during November to discuss faculty salaries at Truman State, which are some of the lowest in Missouri among comparable institutions. History professor David Robinson gave a presentation at the beginning of the forum which outlined the data behind the AAUP’s claims.

Lincoln University is the only comparable institution in Missouri with lower faculty salaries than Truman, according to public data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

During the November meeting, Paino presented a five-step plan that included an additional $1,000 increase for full professors with six years of service and higher starting salaries to attract new faculty. Now that Paino is leaving Truman, he says he hopes to lay the framework for full implementation of his proposal before he leaves. Paino says a faculty committee worked on the proposal last semester and submitted it to the provost.

“I think that there are questions that faculty continue to have and that we need to continue to talk about,” Paino says. “But my sense from Faculty Senate is that they were overall pleased with the attempts and the efforts, and wanted to see those efforts continue to move forward.”

Paino says the proposal he put forth during the November forum has not really changed, but the last stage in the five-step process — offering certain professors a pay raise — is the only stage yet to be realized. Paino says it is now a question of getting the plan in place and making sure the University has the resources to do it, and he hopes next year will be the time to implement the final step. He says the only thing that has changed is faculty wanting to take more immediate action to combat salary compression. One thing the administration has been considering is a plan that might help it address faculty salaries based on seniority, Paino says. He said any plan will require funding, and it remains uncertain what Truman’s budget will look like next year.

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