AAUP-CCU examines faculty compensation in light of national averages and inflation

On March 21, AAUP-CCU held its regular meeting with CCU President, Dr. Mike Benson. The meeting was held at the Singleton Conference Room. The AAUP-CCU delegation included Dr. Pamela Martin (Professor of Politics), who led a discussion of CCU’s faculty compensation and decompression plan, in light of national averages and ongoing inflationary pressures. The discussion focused on a core stipulation of CCU’s decompression plan, which states that our faculty should be compensated based on “national averages”. Our faculty were discounted at 6 percent for the southeastern region. However, the AAUP-CCU delegation argued that a 6 percent decompression is hardly proportionate to the rising inflation in our area and nation. We believe it is important that the University addresses this gap, given that our largest pay adjustments are for promotion and tenure (at 7 percent) and post-tenure review (also at 7 percent). Neither of these are commensurate with the current inflationary pressures we are facing as a nation. Given that our common goal is to increase the University’s reach, rigor and reputation, the AAUP is interested in working with the administration in order to create an infrastructure that supports our faculty—both financially and in kind.

President Benson was receptive to the issues raised by AAUP-CCU. He pointed out that the governor of South Carolina has called for a 3 percent raise for all state employees, which will hopefully go some way toward alleviating inflationary pressure. He also shared with the group that employer healthcare contributions are projected to rise by 18 percent in the coming months, which is something we need to take into consideration in financial planning for the institution. The president added that much will depend on income from tuition. Currently, applications by students remain high; however, a much more accurate prognosticator of tuition income for the coming academic year is housing deposits received. The contours of this landscape will emerge fully during the summer. The AAUP-CCU plans to revisit this issue with President Benson in the fall.


Author: Joseph Fitsanakis

Professor, Intelligence and Security Studies program, Coastal Carolina University