The Parthenon

Marshall plans to increase employee salaries

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President Jerry Gilbert is incorporating competitive faculty and staff salaries in his strategic plan for Marshall University, which he discussed Thursday at a meeting of the Faculty Senate in BE5. Gilbert said he is pushing for salary increases despite possibly impending state budget cuts in order to establish a long-term goal for the university and raise Marshall's national prominence.

President Jerry Gilbert is incorporating competitive faculty and staff salaries in his strategic plan for Marshall University, which he discussed Thursday at a meeting of the Faculty Senate in BE5. Gilbert said he is pushing for salary increases despite possibly impending state budget cuts in order to establish a long-term goal for the university and raise Marshall's national prominence.

Rebecca Turnbull

Rebecca Turnbull

President Jerry Gilbert is incorporating competitive faculty and staff salaries in his strategic plan for Marshall University, which he discussed Thursday at a meeting of the Faculty Senate in BE5. Gilbert said he is pushing for salary increases despite possibly impending state budget cuts in order to establish a long-term goal for the university and raise Marshall's national prominence.

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President Jerry Gilbert is incorporating competitive faculty and staff salaries in his strategic plan for Marshall University.

Gilbert discussed the impending salary raises with Faculty Senate attendees Thursday in room BE5 of the Memorial Student Center.

Gilbert said he is pushing for salary increases despite budget cuts in order to establish a long-term goal for the university in raising Marshall’s national prominence and quality of education.

“My preference would be to take the salaries above the median,” Gilbert said. “It’s probably going to take a lot of money and I realize that, but I want us to have that as a starting point from the beginning to know what it would take, rather than nibbling around the edges and doing it on a piecemeal basis.”

Gilbert said the university might face a tuition increase of about five percent for the next 8 to 10 years in order to generate necessary revenue for establishing competitive salaries.

Gilbert also said even with raised tuition rates, the university may be forced to dig into fiscal reserves. He said this may not present a significant issue, since Marshall’s reserves have shown to be very “healthy” and could keep the university open longer than any other institution in the state.

Budget Working Group spokesman Carl Mummert said most West Virginia educational institutions are likely to employ tuition increases since all of them are affected by the state’s budget deductions.

Mummert said there is still a possibility of commission increases between 5 and 11 percent, but the threat of additional state budget reductions for higher education make such a possibility look “very grim.”

As for this past fiscal year, senior vice president for institutional research and planning Michael McGuffey said about 58.7 percent of the $250 million dollar budget for the university approved last year by the Board of Governors goes to salaries and benefits for all employees, including student employees, graduate employees and others.

Gilbert said he and McGuffey are looking to create a software program that will allow administration to develop a compensation plan by inputting variables to show how increases in salary, tuition or enrollment could affect the university’s budget over the next few years.

The last Faculty Senate meeting for the 2015-2016 academic year is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, May 5, in room BE5 of the Memorial Student Center.

Rebecca Turnbull can be contacted at [email protected]

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