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ERIC Number: EJ847847
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun-26
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Sharing the Pain: Cutting Faculty Salaries across the Board
June, Audrey Williams
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n40 pA1 Jun 2009
Greensboro College has many of the intimate hallmarks of a small, private, liberal-arts college. Professors give their cellphone numbers to students and routinely provide extra help to those who need it. Classes at the North Carolina institution average 14 people. One of the students featured on the college Web site is a biology major who plays on the tennis and volleyball teams and says she is grateful that professors are willing to work around her hectic schedule. The college motto is "You belong here!" But in mid-April, faculty and staff members got some news that cast a pall on the close-knit campus. At a hastily arranged meeting in the chapel where worship services are held every week, President Craven E. Williams announced layoffs and a temporary, across-the-board pay cut of 20 percent for salaried employees. In addition, sabbaticals were shelved and many benefits were cut. The institution needs $5-million to stay afloat until the fall, when tuition payments roll in. Some colleges, slammed by the nationwide recession, have begun to eliminate specific programs and departments. But those cost savings often take time to materialize. Greensboro and other colleges instead turned to across-the-board measures that could be put in place quickly and have an immediate effect on the bottom line. Pay cuts often fit the bill. Still, the move has been devastating to the faculty. Many are contract employees, there is no faculty senate, and many worry that the administration, which they say blindsided them with the news, is looking for reasons to get rid of more people. Other institutions taking the broad-cut approach include Belmont Abbey College, also in North Carolina, where salaries are slated to be cut by 3.5 percent by July 1, the start of the new fiscal year. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, senior administrators must cut programs, operations, and staffing by 5 percent by the end of this month. Many who do this say spreading hardship around saves jobs. But the "share the pain" approach can harm an institution in the long run, warn some experts. Programs that were once strong are weakened after years of across-the-board cuts. Salary cuts, particularly ones as steep as Greensboro College's, can push people to look elsewhere for work. In addition, deep pay cuts are not sustainable.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina