From January 25, 2010: The FCEC would like to know the outcomes of the distribution of the limited faculty raise money in each college. Specifically, what percentage of faculty who received raises fits into the President’s three categories of 1-gender, 2-compression, and 3-merit. Were the gender and compression gaps improved, and can we see those statistics? We would also like confirmation that the limited pool of raise money was not used for retention/recruitment packages.
Provost Leslie said the sub-parts of the question had been answered except the one regarding January salary increases, where accurate payroll information was not yet available. He presented data on a PowerPoint slide, which is included in Appendix A. Provost Leslie reported that 39 percent of the faculty received salary increases in January 2010. The percentages of male and female faculty members who received raises were 36 and 46 percent, respectively, with the average raise for males being 6.6 percent and females being 7.05 percent. Of the total pool of salary funds, 65.5 percent went to males and 34.5 percent went to females. So, although a larger share of the raise pool went to men, the average salary increase for the women who received raises was higher than that of the men who received raises.
With regard to whether or not the gender and compression gaps had improved following the January raises, Provost Leslie said the difference in total compensation for female full professors in comparison to male full professors had been reduced from approximately 6 percent down to 5 percent. He also said the difference as a result of academic considerations had been reduced from 4.5 percent to 3.4 percent. He reminded everyone that closing the gap for female full professors was the main concern because the gaps in compensation between males and females were not different for assistant professors and associate professors on campus. Provost Leslie said progress was being made, and the administration would be monitoring performance in the future and regularly reporting the results on the Gender Equity Blog on the provost’s web site.
President Powers noted that some progress was evident given that the percentage of women receiving raises exceeded that of men and the average percentage increase for women exceeded that of men. He also reiterated the point made by Provost Leslie that reducing the gap would continue to be an on-going effort here at UT Austin. Although the $6 million allocated last year was a relatively large sum of money given the tight budgetary constraints, he said it was a small percentage of the overall campus budget. For the current year, he said the one time pay increases would not necessarily be targeted toward the three particular areas as they were last year; however, he said the three goals would still be important aspects of salary considerations and need continual attention in order to close the gap. He added that statistics were not available to assess the impact of last year’s raised on salary compression.
From March 22, 2010: We understand that some trimming will be occurring in the upper administration budget (the offices of the vice presidents). For our information in terms of thinking about University priorities, what was the structure (number of vice presidents and number of staff members in the VPs’ offices) ten years ago, five years ago, and this year? What was the budget for these offices ten years ago, five years ago, and this year not in dollars necessarily but in terms of a relation to the general academic budget (e.g., ten percent of the amount in the general academic budget)?
To answer this question, President Powers presented information on two PowerPoint slides, which are attached in Appendix B. He said the information—first presented in dollar amounts and the second in Full Time Equivalents (FTEs)—indicated essentially similar information. After presenting background regarding the situation, he said he would focus primarily on the information on the first slide using the dollar amounts. He said one of the reasons it was difficult to secure the data to answer the questions was that President Faulkner undertook a major reorganization of administrative services in 1999-2000. He explained that prior to the reorganization the administrative tasks performed in the office of the chief financial officer had greatly expanded. To improve efficiency and productivity, President Faulkner initiated separate functional portfolios for different administrative areas, including information technology, human resources, public affairs, and others through a series of reorganizations.
President Powers said these reorganizational efforts were needed and are still occurring as needs and priorities ebbed or grew. For example, he said Information Technology Services was a very dynamic area a decade ago and ended up becoming a portfolio within a new vice presidential office. Recently, these functions were rolled back into the portfolio of Kevin Hegarty. Another example has involved governmental affairs, which is now in the president’s office because of his increased involvement in legislative matters. As a result, comparisons over time are not easily made because of differences in activities and priorities. He said the data from last year indicated that administrative costs have increased somewhat more rapidly than academic budget costs, 7.5 percent vs. 3.6 percent, respectively. He pointed out that these numbers were from 2009-2010 and did not include the $14.5 million in budget cuts, of which about $13.5 million came from vice presidents’ offices. He said he had pointed out in his State of the University Address that the University needs to pay attention to administrative costs, but it was important to note that UT Austin costs were about half of the state average in an audit conducted by the Legislative Budget Board several years ago, and UT Austin ranked as one of the lowest in administrative costs among institutions in Texas over the twenty-five years of data collection. President Powers said he was sure many Council members had seen the Goldwater Institute report that indicated UT was near the bottom of the rankings of institutions by increases in administrative costs during a period of time when there had been dramatic increases at campuses across the United States.
President Powers noted that the University has faced complexities from additional regulations regarding compliance and heightened reliance of outside fund raising activities and external grants. He said the news on administrative costs was largely good, but work was needed to contain costs during this difficult economic time. When Professor Hilley asked where the information that had been presented could be found, the president said he would provide it to Chair Neikirk. When Professor Brian Evans asked for clarification regarding the $13.5 million in cuts, President Powers said there were $14.5 million in cuts, of which $13.5 million came from the vice presidents’ offices, in the current year, and these amounts were not reflected in the data from the previous year that he had just presented. He clarified that the numbers were not the budgets of the vice presidents’ offices, but they were the administrative portions of those budgets. He allowed that some of the savings could have resulted from reductions in frontline data processes and therefore not all of the $13.5 million would have come from the administrative portions of the budgets. However, he said he thought the percentages for administrative costs would be reduced.