Virginia Tech Faculty Compensation: Salaries, Departures, and Retentions
Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost
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In the increasingly competitive global economy, the demand for talent and innovation has intensified, as has competition for the best and brightest. Consistent with this macroeconomic trend, the market for faculty has become more competitive, leading to increased salaries and start‐up costs across the nation. As states and universities position themselves to be leaders in the new economy and stimulate innovation and job growth to further the economic recovery, the pressure to offer competitive compensation continues to rise. Unfortunately, the Commonwealth of Virginia did not fund a regular annual salary adjustment process between fiscal year 2008‐09 and 2012‐13. While the state has tentatively scheduled a much appreciated 2% salary program for July 2013, this program remains contingent on state revenues and is inadequate to overcome the market impact of five years without increases. The lack of regular salary adjustments for five years has adversely affected Virginia Tech’s ability to maintain competitive salaries for our faculty. This has resulted in the loss of valuable personnel to other institutions ultimately impacting the quality of instruction available to Virginia Tech students and the competitive position of the Commonwealth in terms of economic development opportunities resulting from research programs. The lack of salary adjustments stemmed from the economic conditions in the Commonwealth and the nation. Despite the poor economy, the Commonwealth has enacted three compensation actions since 2007: (a) all employees received a 3% one‐time bonus in December 2010; (b) employees who participated in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) received a 5% salary increase in July 2011 which then was converted into an annual 5% contribution to VRS by these employees; and (c) a 3% onetime bonus in November 2012. These compensation actions did not result in an increase in ongoing net pay during a time of increased competition at peer institutions. The absence of an annual salary adjustment process to reward performance and keep pace with the competitive market has had an impact on faculty salaries, contributing to departures and retention issues at Virginia Tech.