- The University of Connecticut has increased pay for several members of its senior-level staff, in the face of growing state deficits and canceled merit pay increases for non-union managers.
- UConn President Susan Herbst and others received raises that were described as “contractual obligations” forged in 2013-14 to make pay proportional to peer earnings at similar schools nationwide.
- The university will not award increases in 2017, when the state is expected to face a $1.3 billion deficit.
Most large corporations employing thousands of workers and serving thousands of customers consider it a cost of doing business to recruit and pay for top talent, and the perspective should be no different in higher education.
Much in the way that campuses are willing to pay top dollar for technology that makes recruitment, learning and student services more efficient and accessible, campuses and surrounding communities should understand that human resources drive those decisions, and the responsibility for potential failure.
Presidents and boards can do a much more effective job of communicating to the public what tax dollars pay for in the campus space. Annual reports are made public, but they should also be rigorously promoted in legislature, alumni circles and to the media. Leaders should not be in a defensive or reactionary position to explain the costs of doing business in higher education.