AUSTIN, Texas—Citing the need to remain competitive in retaining and attracting outstanding faculty and staff, Larry R. Faulkner, president of The University of Texas at Austin, today (Feb. 22) announced a 3.25 percent salary increase pool for university employees.
Faulkner’s guidelines for merit salary increases were outlined in a budget management meeting with department managers in the Texas Union theater.
“In order to accommodate this increase during these challenging economic times,” he said, “we have had to stretch our budget and defer some important non-salary activities. However, we must remain competitive in retaining and attracting high-quality faculty and staff who make this one of the nation’s leading public universities.
“We are very aware of the budgetary challenges facing our peer institutions around the country. While this salary policy will not put us at a competitive advantage, it will enable us stay somewhat competitive with other institutions.”
Faulkner said activities such as needed investments in administrative operations and equipment purchases are examples of activities that will be curtailed.
Academic and administrative departments, Faulkner said, will have the latitude to augment the centrally funded salary increases with their own resources. The president noted that the university will continue to provide and expand an insurance premium supplement for employees to offset expected increases in health care premiums.
Funding for state-mandated employee increases in the 2002-03 fiscal year has not been certified. If the state’s comptroller of public accounts certifies funds later this spring, then state law would mandate a 3 percent salary increase for university staff (including classified staff, administrative and professional staff, assistant instructors, and teaching assistants).
According to Faulkner, the relatively small amount of additional funding that could result from certification would help enable the university to restore its ability to cover some of the non-salary expenditures that have been deferred.