The Board of Visitors voted last month to include faculty and staff salary increases in its six-year plan, subject to approval by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
In a presentation before the BOV, Vice President for Finance Sam Jones said the proposed salary increases were primarily an attempt to retain and attract top-notch faculty at the College of William and Mary. Jones confirmed that under the plan, faculty would receive a 5 percent annual salary increase, while staff would receive a 4 percent increase.
As part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2011, an initiative of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, all public universities are required to submit six-year plans to the council by Oct. 11. If the six-year plan is approved, the College will not adopt operating budgets until the spring semester, when the state announces its financial support for the 2012-14 biennium.
Faculty and staff have not received base salary increases since November 2007. Consequently, according to the College, faculty salaries currently rank in the seventh percentile of the school’s peer institutions — the state would like to raise them to the 60th percentile.
Maid Allassan ’13, a member of the Living Wage coalition, said the organization was informed of the proposal to increase staff wages in a one-on-one meeting with Rector Jeffrey B. Trammell ’73 during the BOV visit.
“I think it’s an honest effort on the part of the administration to increase workers’ wages, even if they’re still not living wages,” Allassan said. “It’s definitely a victory for us, and it’s a step in the right direction.”
College dining staff employees declined to comment on the proposal.
The proposals detailed in the six-year plan would rely on at least $1.8 million in state funding, $8.6 million in additional revenue provided by the College and re-allocated cost savings of $600,000.
The College also would need to raise $8.6 million in new funds for the second year, but the plan assumes the state will provide another $1.1 million in addition to cost savings that would provide $1.2 million.
At the presentation, Jones said that in order to raise the funds, tuition for out-of-state students could be increased by 5 percent annually; for in-state students, by a market-based metric. However, he noted that if out-of-state tuition were too high, it would discourage enrollment.