Board of Curators approves 2009 operating budget; funds competitive compensation program for ranked faculty
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The University of Missouri Board of Curators approved the university's 2009 operating budget Friday morning. The budget includes $7.1 million for a competitive compensation program for ranked faculty.
University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee has identified faculty retention and recruitment as a top priority. To retain and recruit top faculty, the university needs to make a three-year special investment in competitive market compensation totaling $21.6 million. This amount is necessary to bring the average salary of ranked faculty to the current, average salary levels among comparable research institutions.
"High-quality faculty are the cornerstone of this university," said Curator Doug Russell, who chairs the Finance and Audit Committee. "They provide excellence in teaching, research, public service, economic development and patient care. In order to continue this high level of service, salaries for ranked faculty must be competitive. I applaud the university for finding the resources to fund the program this year."
The university had originally asked the state to share the cost of this investment over a three-year period with the state and university contributing $3.55 million each for three years. Funding for this initiative was not included in the university's 2009 state appropriations approved by the General Assembly.
Some of the funds will come from other sources, including a reduction in the university's required contribution to the retirement plan trust fund. An analysis completed in March showed that the university's required contribution to the retirement fund could be less in 2009 because of the fund's strong investment performance during the last few years.
A study of ranked faculty at public institutions of the Association of American Universities - a group of the nation's most prestigious public and private research institutions - showed that the Columbia campus ranked last out of 33 public AAU universities in the growth of base faculty salaries from fall 1997 to fall 2006, and 32 out of 33 public AAU universities when ranked according to the current average base salary for ranked faculty for fall 2006. The average ranked faculty salary increases among AAU universities in the surrounding states of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska between this time period ranged from 29.2 percent to 47.2 percent; the University of Missouri-Columbia's averaged 20.4 percent.
The university's 2009 general operations budget is $439,037,968, an increase in state appropriations of $19.9 million from 2008, and includes a 4.2 percent increase for operations plus $2.36 million in net new appropriations to address funding inequities at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
"The university is grateful for the support that Gov. Blunt and the General Assembly have given to public higher education this year," said President Forsee.
Net tuition and fee revenues are based on the 4.1 percent increases in graduate and undergraduate tuition and associated fees approved at the April board meeting. Budgeted expenditures include a merit salary adjustment pool equal to 4 percent of the university's salary and wage base, the faculty competitive compensation program, and increases in other costs such as utilities, insurance and ongoing operational costs.
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