Central Michigan University professional and administrative employees will receive a 2.5-percent base salary increase for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
Base salaries vary by position. Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services David Burdette said the university approved the pay raise, in part, to attract and retain a talented workforce.
“CMU wants to attract the most qualified work force,” he said. “We think we do, and we also want to retain valued employees, and compensation is part of that recognition.”
The base increase follows a 2.25-percent increase last year, a 2.25-percent lump-sum payment in 2011-12, no adjustment in 2010-11 and a 3-percent increase in 2009-10.
In addition, CMU is increasing the amount employees pay for benefits from nine-percent to 10-percent in order to reasonably keep costs reigned in. For a single-person household, that puts CMU on par with other Michigan universities while still keeping CMU well below the Michigan average for family households. On average, family households at other state universities pay about 16-percent into their benefits.
Associate Vice President of Human Resources Lori Hella said CMU looks to compensate its employees by paying fairly based on market trends while keeping tuition costs and other fees low for students.
“Over the last couple of years, the pay increase has been modest, and the P & A employees had a couple of years with an increase of zero,” Hella said. “Zero percent one year and zero-to-base the next. So, that is something we have to keep in mind as we look at the market and try to attract employees and also benchmark our salaries.”
Burdette said the goal is to keep costs down while keeping pay and benefits high.
“We want to have the best employees possible,” he said. “We want to be competitive. We’ve had some budget times here, and we’ve been through some bumps and bruises, but, on the tuition side, (CMU President George Ross) has made it very clear we’re going to make tuition as low as possible.”
Burdette said the majority of CMU’s revenue comes from tuition. Roughly 58-percent of CMU’s total revenue comes from tuition, compared to 17-percent from state appropriations, 17-percent from residences and auxiliary services and eight-percent from various other sources.
State appropriations as a portion of CMU’s revenue have plummeted from 34 percent in 2001-02 as lawmakers slashed higher education funding. Because of that, the university is relying more than ever on tuition to pay employees.
“The bulk of our expenses are either in salary or in compensation,” he said.
News Editor Kristopher Lodes contributed to this story.