Task Force Report - May 31, 2001
below include several which are adapted from the previous reports cited
in the Appendices. Additional recommendations may also be found in the
reports described in Appendices O, P, Q, T, and U, in particular. Many
of the recommendations require additional funding, and the administration
is encouraged to pursue sources of new funds (and not just reallocation
of existing funds) to help recruit and retain the best possible faculty.
Where possible, an estimate of the amount of funds required for each
recommendation is provided.
#1 - A proactive versus counter-measures approach should be used
for faculty retention. Waiting to respond until faculty have outside
offers can create morale problems and be expensive or ineffective. Funds
should be provided for addressing market-based and retention-based salary
adjustments for faculty with extraordinary individual merit. The process
for making the salary adjustments should be established by the Deans
and Provost. It should be efficient and informal, because a formal process
with deadlines might be too slow, have less flexibility, and raise false
expectations. It should allow for mid-year commitments, although implementation
of the adjustments may be delayed to coincide with the annual raise
cycle. This market-based salary-adjustment process will differ from
the current salary-grievance process, as the latter is based on internal
comparisons while the former is based on external comparisons. By focusing
on individual faculty with high merit, this process will complement
unit-merit salary increases. It is suggested that the funding level
be approximately 0.15% annually of the total salary pool, based on the
provision of one-time raises of 15% to 1% of the faculty each year.
#2 - The unit-merit process is helping to close the gap in salaries
between CU-Boulder and peer institutions for selected units. It should
be continued, but it is suggested that a two-year cycle be considered,
as the latter will allow some of the larger problems to be addressed
over two budget periods and for programs which just missed in one year
to receive unit merit in the following year without preparing a new
application. It is further suggested that this fund be approximately
0.45% annually of the total salary pool, based on closing the current
average gap of 5.5% over a 12-year period.
#3 - The recent decision by the College of Arts and Sciences to
provide promotion-based raises ($2000 for Associate Professor and $3000
for Full Professor) provides important financial and psychological boosts
at key points in a faculty career, and some faculty feel the amounts
should be even greater. On the other hand, the funds for these raises
come from the overall pool, and so they slightly lower the raises for
faculty not being promoted in a given year. Unless a special campus
pool (e.g., endowment, special increase in continuing funds from the
State) can be developed for promotion-based raises, it is recommended
that each college examine its merit-based raise procedures and philosophy
to decide the amounts of promotion-based raises, if any, with consideration
of the large gap in average salaries at the full-professor level between
CU-Boulder and the AAU public peer group for some disciplines.
#4 - Overall raise pools of inflation plus 1% are not enough to
keep up with salaries at peer institutions and for meritorious faculty
to achieve satisfactory growth in salary over their careers. A target
of inflation plus 2-2.5% is recommended for the total raise pool (regular
merit, unit merit, special merit, promotion-based raises, gender equity,
etc.) If possible, inflation plus at least 1% should be provided for
the regular-merit pool alone.
#5 - One source of funds to provide the recommended raises beyond
inflation plus 1% is self-funding by the Colleges. Tapping into operating
budgets is not a satisfactory solution. For the long term, a portion
of the salary differentials between departing faculty and new hires
should be put into the raise pool as self funding. For example, if 4%
of the faculty retire or depart each year with a salary differential
(above an entry-level replacement) which is 50% of the average salary
(note: the 1999-2000 average CU-Boulder salary difference between Full
Professors and Assistant Professors is 48.2% of the overall average
salary, while that for the AAU peer group is 61.9%), then the combined
differential is 2% of the overall salary pool. It is recommended that
policies be considered whereby approximately one-half of the salary
differentials (between departing faculty and the same number of entry-level
hires) be put into the raise pool for current faculty, with the remainder
used to upgrade positions to the mid-career or senior level or for pooling
to create new positions or to reconstitute cannibalized or recharged
#6 - Another recommendation for providing raises beyond inflation
plus 1% is to develop mechanisms and procedures which allow individual
faculty salaries to be supplemented by alternative sources such as grant
funds and endowments. One possible mechanism for providing these supplements
could be implemented by reducing a faculty member's appointment on the
general-fund salary pool to 90-95% (without changing the amount), and
then supplementing this amount up to a 100% appointment with the alternative
sources. However, supplements which are temporary or based on the faculty
member raising soft money should not be used to reduce his or her raise
amount on permanent or continuing funds.
#7 - The original 2X rule (whereby departments demonstrate their
support for a special merit award by giving at least twice the average
raise to the awardee) in the College of Arts and Sciences provides a
mechanism for departmental support and costsharing of special merit
awards, but it can create morale problems and undue hardship on smaller
departments and those with multiple recipients. Thus, the modified 2X
rule (whereby a department must give twice the average raise of the
remaining faculty in the unit to the special merit awardees) which recognizes
these factors is supported, and it is recommended that other colleges
develop policies for appropriate costsharing of special merit raises.
#8 - Special Opportunities Positions (SOPs) are used for hiring
additional faculty from underrepresented groups, hiring extraordinary
faculty with unique accomplishments and potential, and assisting with
spousal hires. The SOP program should be continued and expanded, with
consideration of the increased need for spousal hires. For the latter,
cost-sharing by the colleges and schools involved might be considered.
#9 - Campus funds for startup packages should be continued and increased.
Approximately $3 million per year from Academic Affairs are needed,
based on 20 hires with $350,000 startup, and 40 hires with $50,000 startup,
with Academic Affairs providing one third of the total and the colleges
and units providing the other two thirds of the total. Mechanisms are
also needed to increase the budgeted startup funds for the colleges
#10 - Expand the new program for housing loans, and develop rapid-screening
procedures so that guaranteed participation in this program may be included
in offer letters. A modest subsidy should be provided, so that the interest
rates are at least 1% below market. It is also recommended that units
be allowed to include housing-assistance funds for down payments and
other closing costs in offer letters.
#11 - Use additional ICR and state funds to at least double the
campus support for research and creative work through internal granting
institutions such as the Council on Research and Creative Work and the
Graduate Committee on Arts and Humanities. One possibility is to earmark
one-half of all new ICR revenues (above current levels) for this fund
until the goal is reached.
#12 - Work with CCHE, the Colorado Tobacco Research Program, and
the Colorado Legislature to increase state support for individual projects,
matching of major proposals for initiatives in education and research,
#13 - Develop a web page and handout which lists key contact information
for faculty issues (e.g., benefits, housing, promotion and tenure, child
care, leave policies, sabbatical internal funding sources), and include
this list with each offer letter. Provide chair training and new faculty
orientation on these issues.
#14 - Consider hiring or contracting a part-time "concierge" who
assists with faculty recruitment and retention by providing information
and assistance on benefits, employment, schools, housing, etc. in the
Boulder area. Assistance with non-academic spousal employment is a particular
need. The concierge office could provide the coordination of retention
initiatives recommended by the 2/14/01 CU-Boulder Arts and Sciences
Council Report on Retention, Career Management, and Academic Community,
including serving as a conduit for faculty to bring problems to the
attention of the administration beyond the department level.
#15 - Within broad campus/college guidelines, ask each unit to develop
procedures which promote workload flexibility. Examples might include
course banking, faculty fellowships, family leaves, part-time or shared
appointments, joint appointments, and extended tenure clocks.
#16 - Develop on-campus or near-campus child care options, including
infant care and pay-as-you-go drop-in care.
#17 - A fund for tuition support for faculty dependents attending
CU, or possibly other schools, should be established. Such an investment
will often come at a critical, mid-career time in a faculty member's
career, when he or she is most vulnerable to other opportunities.
#18 - The employer contribution to health plans with family or spouse/partner
coverage should be increased by approximately $75-100 per month, possibly
phased in over 3-4 years.
#19 - Colleges and departments should develop strategic plans to
recognize outstanding faculty contributions in teaching, research and
creative work, and service, with goals to endow awards, chairs and fellowships
through fundraising efforts in collaboration with the CU Foundation.
Such recognition by one's immediate peers, in addition to the monetary
support involved, is an important strategy for retention and encouraging
#20 - Colleges and departments should also make every effort to
recruit and support a diverse faculty, including community building
(faculty retreats, internal seminars, lunches, receptions, etc.) and
mentoring of not only junior faculty but also those who feel professionally
isolated or in need of assistance in teaching or research and scholarly
work. Strategic hiring of faculty with common interests should also
#21 - Besides salaries and benefits, faculty retention strategies
should include ones which have broad benefit to the unit and colleagues
of the faculty member (e.g., renovation or establishment of shared facilities,
allocation of faculty lines in related areas). These strategies will
help improve morale among the colleagues of the retained faculty.
#22 - Continuing funds should be provided for nonsalary faculty
retention packages. The campus need might be approximately $500,000
per year, based on 10 retention packages at an average of $50,000.
#23 - Additional state funds and streamlined mechanisms for office
and laboratory renovations and expansions should be pursued by the university
#24 - To help meet the faculty need for additional, high-quality
graduate students, increased stipends for teaching assistants and a
reduced tuition rate for nonresident graduate students on appointment
should be implemented.