Faculty to see well-deserved wage raise

Over the course of the University’s history, its internationally-acclaimed faculty has demonstrated its excellence time and time again: the discovery of nuclear magnetic resonance, the foundation of the National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting Service, the creation of the world’s first web browser … the list goes on.

And though our first-rate leaders have taken the world by storm continually in their time at the University, they had until recently faced almost three years of stagnant wages.

Since President Michael Hogan first took office in July 2010, he has made consistent efforts to implement a general salary program for faculty. More specifically, an average 3 percent merit-based raise was granted this summer.

We share Hogan’s interest in the rich resources our faculty members contribute to the University, and we commend the administration for seeing through this proposition albeit economic hardships.

It was only in spring 2010 that the University, pushed by lack of funds, instituted four furlough days to make up $436 million of unpaid appropriations due to the University by the state of Illinois.

In May, Joyce Tolliver, then senate chair, said in words what we feared most for our faculty’s future: “We’re seeing that damage already: declining morale, faculty departures … and a general discouragement, a fear that the best days of this campus may be behind us.”

However, the faculty that have stuck with the University through thick and thin were finally rewarded.

The recently instituted pay raises are a cornerstone to retaining the best and brightest and maintaining morale among faculty members. Not only does it send a message to the other institutions trying to lure them away, but it sends an even more important message to the faculty.

It will show faculty, even the newly-hired ones, that the administration is listening and addressing frustrations.

While The Daily Illini Editorial Board hasn’t agreed with some of the recent moves by the administration, such as the rushed closure of the Institute of Aviation and administrative restructuring, we praise its latest move.

In addition, it is important for students to learn from the best. That leaves for a better justification of the recent 6.9 tuition hike, which passed by the Board of Trustees at its March meeting in effect for students entering this year.

As said by several top-level faculty members, it was the right time for a pay raise. It can have an impact beyond just the retention. It can attract more minds to the campus and maintain its rank as a top-tier public institution.