Wisconsin higher ed system to assess job titles, pay structure
- The University of Wisconsin System and its flagship campus will partner to conduct a full audit of its member institutions' personnel and compensation structures, the Cap Times reports. The Title and Total Compensation Study will analyze faculty member and staff titles, and compare them with listed job duties, pay scales and benefit packages.
- The work will be done by an independent firm for $900,000 over 4 years of analysis, implementation and review processes.
- The system employs more than 39,000 employees, a select number of which will work with the firm in advisory and steering committee roles.
Every higher education system should be willing to invest in self-auditing practices to make sure that they can be accountable and transparent in the eyes of taxpayers and elected officials. In Wisconsin, this is a particular area of emphasis as the state has worked to limit the cost impact of faculty labor unions and tenure process in the name of fiscal responsibility.
But for colleges facing similar issues with administrative bloat and big numbers in programmatic overhead, an audit is a useful tool in keeping employees honest about bookkeeping and productivity, but also in making the case for overdue investments in areas of strength. Middle-sized and large research institutions want preeminence while smaller institutions chase competitiveness; both pursuits may be best served with raw numbers on personnel, research capacity, and facilities in making the case to lawmakers, student, and donors.
Institutions should consider conducting comparative analyses with peer institutions to publicize their standing in regional and national metrics of performance. And they should be ready to contextualize how much more they could do with additional investment, or how much further they could fall behind without it.