Teaching pay level restored for faculty

Ivy Steege, Campus News Editor

After a deduction of teaching pay for summer and winterim terms the past few years, the salaries for faculty and academic staff are heading back in a positive direction. UW-Whitewater Provost John Chenoweth, the Budget Operations Committee and Faculty Senate made restorations to bring pay for instructors up to a maximum amount of $5,400 for teaching a three-credit course. Chenoweth officially restored the pay with approval from Interim Chancellor Jim Henderson.
“We look like we’re a little better financially than we thought we would be,” said Chenoweth. “We’ve been looking into reinstating our faculty salary. It was identified as one of our highest priorities.”
In the summer of 2017 instructors could earn up to $5,700, but in 2020 that amount was lowered to $5,400. This was the first pay cut directly caused by the budget crisis and COVID-19 pandemic.
“The university experienced a great deal of financial difficulty during the COVID-19 pandemic and unfortunately faculty and staff were negatively impacted, with faculty having reductions in their pay and some staff being let go,” said Faculty Salary Committee Chair Jonah Ralston. “Governance groups like the Faculty Senate worked with the administration to try to find ways to reduce costs while retaining people’s jobs. It was considered better for everyone teaching winterim and summer to give up a portion of their income to preserve the employment of their coworkers.”

The number of classes offered during the summer term also dropped from 446 in 2020 to 426 in 2021, highlighting another important aspect the budget crisis affected. Some classes had enrollment caps increased so fewer sections were needed, and minimum enrollments for classes were enforced.
“When you lower compensation, it has individuals weighing whether they want to teach the classes or not,” said Chenoweth. “It’s important to make sure that we’re offering enough classes for our students to make sure we’re meeting the student demand.”
Another pay reduction was approved last semester, which had brought pay down farther to a maximum of $5,000 for teaching a three-credit course, but winterim of 2022 was the only teaching session to see that salary in effect.
With $400 restored in pay, instructors hope it will continue to rise back to the 2017 level and even higher to account for inflation.