University awards nearly $2 million in raises

By Angelica LaVito, Staff Writer

The University awarded nearly $2 million in raises this year despite suspending campuswide raises amid the state budget impasse.

The total so far reaches $1,911,465.42, just shy of last year’s $1,951,305.02 in raises. The raises range from $319.12 to $80,000 for salaries in the annual Gray Book, which includes all salaries the Board of Trustees approves.

This figure is much smaller than in a typical year. In a normal year when the University would participate in a one percent campus salary program, which would award everyone a one percent raise, the cost would total around $8.5 million, according to UI spokeswoman Robin Kaler.

There are several reasons why faculty would receive raises despite the University not awarding them across the board. Promotions and tenure are common factors, Kaler said. Faculty retention was another major component this year.

“Retention is very important, especially in challenging budget times,” she said. “We do everything we can to keep our amazing faculty here because other universities look at us and think this is a good time to poach.”

Equity issues also merit raises. Such cases would arise when the University hires a new faculty member at a higher wage than current professors make because of the job market. The University would then increase the current professors’ salaries to match the new hire’s salary.

Professors who receive campus, college or unit awards also saw their salaries increase. Award recipients used to receive the additional money each year after they won, which will change starting this year. Instead of giving award recipients a recurring raise, the University will give them a one time increase, according to Kaler.

One raise not included in the Gray Book is that of Barbara Wilson, the University’s new vice president. The Board of Trustees approved her appointment at their Nov. 11 meeting.

Wilson served as interim chancellor for the past year after serving as the dean of LAS. She will earn $450,000 in her new role, an increase of $52,500 from the $397,500 she was set to earn this year.

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CORRECTION: A previous version of this article said the cost would total around $8.5 billion, which is incorrect. The Daily Illini regrets this error.