Monday, August 15, 2016

UI salary freeze adds to flight risk, professors say - Julie Wurth, News-Gazette

Nighttime emails from the president are almost never good news, according to University of Illinois Professor Bruce Reznick. And so the announcement that the university is again deferring a general salary-increase program until a state budget materializes was met with "dull disappointment combined with a lack of surprise," said Reznick, a professor of mathematics since 1979. If the salary freeze holds, this will be the fourth year in the last eight that the UI has provided no general salary increases, though some employees get raises through promotions, retention offers, union-wage increases and the like. "We all know about the political complications of state funding and the cuts that have been made, in the context of some new programs, such as the College of Medicine," Reznick said. But he and other professors interviewed this week are worried about faculty flight. "It's difficult to plan ahead for life at Illinois when salaries are stagnant from year to year," said Merinda Hensley, a recently tenured professor in the University Library. "It's becoming a pattern. I'm worried about my retirement. And with health care premiums expected to rise again, it's getting harder to make ends meet.

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