Task Force At Work On Faculty/Staff Compensation Issues

June 16, 2004

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Baylor University President Robert B. Sloan Jr. has created a Task Force on the Impact of Faculty and Staff Compensation on Financial Planning and has appointed 17 faculty and staff members to carry out its work. The group is charged with establishing where Baylor stands on compensation issues for faculty and staff, where it aspires to be and how it will eventually succeed in that effort. The task force is chaired by Dr. Bill Thomas, professor of accounting and holder of The J.E. Bush Professorship in Accounting.

"Three years into 2012, our aspirations for truly competitive salaries for faculty and staff are still intact," Sloan said. "Even though higher education in general has experienced difficulties in these areas, we are confident that in the not-too-distant future we will be able to move forward successfully with this very important aspiration of our 10-year vision. It is also appropriate and consistent with the goals of Baylor 2012 that faculty and staff participate in the evaluation and/or reevaluation of this issue."

In addition to Thomas, task force members include:

• Richard K. Amos, assistant vice president and director of compensation and benefits;

• Randall L. Brown, associate director of compensation and benefits;

• Dr. Charlene S. Budd, professor of accounting and holder of The Emerson O. Henke Chair in Accounting;

• Dr. Elizabeth B. Davis, associate professor of accounting and vice provost for academic relations;

• Brian S. Denman, director of fiscal planning;

• Mark C. Falsone, associate budget director;

• Thomas M. Featherston Jr., professor and The Mills Cox Professor of Law;

• Dr. Van D. Gray, associate vice president for strategic planning and improving;

• Dr. Steven L. Green, professor of economics and statistics and chair of the economics department;

• Donna L. Herbert, ITS technology support manager;

• Dr. Thomas M. Kelly, professor of economics and director of the Center for Business and Economic Research;

• Dr. Kathleen M. Morley, associate director of information management and testing;

• Dr. J. William Petty, professor of finance and holder of The W.W. Caruth Chair of Entrepreneurship and director of entrepreneurship studies program.

• Dr. William R. Reichenstein, professor of finance and holder of The Pat and Thomas R. Powers Chair of Investment Management;

• Dr. Steven P. Rich, associate professor of finance;

• Marlene F. Tyrrell, senior lecturer in computer science.

"One of the goals associated with Baylor 2012's Imperative III - develop a world-class faculty - is to recruit and retain the highest quality faculty and staff, and to compensate them competitively. Unless this goal is met, we will not be able to attract the caliber of people to Baylor that we need in order to accomplish the vision," Thomas said.

Thomas was appointed to chair the task force to study current levels of Baylor faculty and staff salaries in comparison to certain benchmark schools, and to recommend any changes that might be necessary to keep Baylor competitive as the university moves forward.

"Several members of the task force are intimately familiar with Baylor's long-term financial model," Thomas said. "The model makes certain assumptions about increases in faculty and staff salaries over time that will raise them to a level commensurate with our aspirations among benchmark schools. Our study will help confirm whether we are on track to achieve that goal and, if we are not, to make suggestions as to changes that might need to be made to the model."

The task force consists of three sub-groups. The first, Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), will be working to determine, if possible, a proper cost of living adjustment to apply to the data of other comparable universities. The other sub-groups, Competitive Position of Baylor Staff and Competitive Position of Baylor Faculty, will determine what comparison groups are appropriate, compare compensation at Baylor with the appropriate benchmark groups, and recommend marginal adjustments over and above those already in Baylor's financial model to help the university succeed in establishing competitive compensation.

The sub-groups will bring their findings to the task force, which, after discussion, will be evaluated with respect to Baylor's long-term financial model. The information also will be presented to the president, who will use the data in a report to the Baylor board of regents in late July and also as a basis for subsequent financial and budgetary recommendations.

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