Regents approve 5% raise, increase salary equity fund

By Neal A. Johnson, UD Editor
Posted 6/29/22

State Tech Regents on Friday approved a 5% salary increase, effective July 1, and agreed to invest another $50,000 to a fund designed to make salaries equitable.

President Dr. Shawn Strong said …

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Regents approve 5% raise, increase salary equity fund

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State Tech Regents on Friday approved a 5% salary increase, effective July 1, and agreed to invest another $50,000 to a fund designed to make salaries equitable.

President Dr. Shawn Strong said employees are the strength of the college, and increasing salaries is important. 

“We have to continue to make State Tech a place where outstanding faculty and staff remain committed to our mission,” said Dr. Strong. 

Regents also see the value in making salaries equitable for employees, especially long-term staff members.

Dr. Strong said the $50,000 investment will increase the total impact on salary and benefit increases to $200,000 by the end of the 2022-23 school year.

Using Labor Bureau statistics for technical teachers and College and University Professional Association (CUPA) figures for general education teachers, State Tech created quartiles to determine how close each employee is to the average. This was modified by an experience factor.

“Employees who are farthest away from the average will get a higher percentage,” Dr. Strong explained. “We had very positive feedback last year, and both faculty and staff were adamant about doing it again. We’re doing our best to make sure everyone is paid fairly.”

Overall, the college has had a good year, which enabled the board to make these improvements while still placing $3 million in reserves.

Overall, the college has had a good year, which enabled the board to make these improvements while still placing $3 million total into reserves ($2 million unrestricted and $1 million auxiliary).

“This is probably the best year we’ve had in terms of what we were able to put into reserves,” said Dr. Strong.

When State Tech saw an opportunity to insulate from an upcoming recession, and to accumulate funds to expand American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds as well as special projects, “we stopped spending money,” said Dr. Strong. “We held off on some projects.”

State Tech transferred $2 million from general revenue and $1 million from auxiliary into reserves. Auxiliary reserves are restricted to be spent only in auxiliaries without action from the Board of Regents.

Funding for ARPA projects is being determined by State Tech and the Department of Higher Education. The college plans to construct a 40,000 square-foot building between the Welding Technology Center and the Electrical Technology Center; a 30,000 square-foot building is planned in front of the Nilges Technology Center for precision machining and related programs; and State Tech is planning renovations in the Nilges building to convert labs into classrooms.

In the meantime, Regents budgeted $1.3 million in FY 2023 that covers changing needs over the course of the school year.

“We put as much as possible into this account in preparation for things that come up,” said Dr. Strong.

Remaining business from Friday’s meeting will be presented next week.

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