Letter to EVCAA Subramani on Faculty Pay Raises: Strings Attached

In an email circulated on September 16, 2011, the Office of Academic Personnel notified the University that “non-exclusively represented, eligible academic employees” would be receiving a 3% across-the-board increase in their salaries, effective November 1.  While many of us welcome the relief from the frozen salary scale that has left faculty compensation well below our competitor institutions, the SDFA is deeply concerned about the “strings” attached to this announcement.  Staff, students and lecturers are explicitly excluded from the pay raise.  The requirement for “eligibility” financially punishes those members of the faculty who aren’t deemed sufficiently “productive”.  And there are still ambiguities as to where the funding for these pay raises will come from.   SDFA Acting President Ivan Evans and Acting Vice President Luis Martin-Cabrera have sent the following letter to EVCAA Suresh Subramani to ask for clarification on these points.

September 26, 2011

Dear Professor Subramani;

UC President Mark Yudof announced recently that eligible faculty members will receive a 3% increase on their total salaries, effective October 1, 2011. This is very welcome news indeed. At the same time, not all aspects of the announcement are clear.  On behalf of the San Diego Faculty Association (SDFA), I write to respectfully request clarification of three issues in particular.

Firstly, UCOP’s policy extends the increase only to faculty and excludes staff, lecturers and graduate student employees. The SDFA urgently inquires whether staff, lecturers and graduate student employees at UCSD will excluded and requests that the salary increase be extended to these employees as well.  

Secondly, it is not clear how the salary increase at UCSD will be funded.  UCOP is free to determine different policies for different campuses and it is unclear how UCSDs will fund the salary increase. Will UCOP provide additional funds for the salary increase  at UCSD or will the university expected to generate the money by reallocating existing funds? If the latter, it would be useful to know if any principles have or will be established to help the various academic Divisions and departments come up with the necessary funds. 

Thirdly, UCOP stipulates that the 3% increase will go only to “eligible faculty members”, defined as faculty who have demonstrably satisfactory records over the past four years.  Dissatisfaction with the wisdom and equity of this stipulation is particularly widespread amongst the faculty.  UC faculty are keenly aware that they have been underpaid for a long time, as recent comparisons with “comparable schools” show, and strongly feel that the 3% increase should be extended across the board. The increase should not be withheld from a small number of colleagues on the basis of an egregious administrative whim that will foster an unnecessary divide amongst colleagues who have all contributed in some way to the well-being of the campus. The SDFA therefore inquires whether your office will ensure that the salary increase is extended to all UCSD faculty.

We thank you for your attention and look forward to your response to these three items as soon as possible.


Ivan Evans

(Acting) President, San Diego Faculty Association

Luis Martin-Cabrera

(Acting) Vice President, San Diego Faculty Association


Update 10/3/2011: Response from the EVCAA is posted here.


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