President Walter Harrison has asked this commission to "recommend a multi-year plan to increase faculty compensation in order to keep us competitive with our peer group of colleges and universities." In order to do so it is important that the commission have a clear sense of the complexities involved in considerations of compensation and the ability to set priorities for addressing the major factors we confront, including but not limited to: benchmarking, equity, merit recognition, and disciplinary-based market pressures.
This is an important charge, given a primary goal outlined in the Academic Strategic Pathways: "Expand strategies for recruiting, developing, and retaining diverse, high-achieving faculty." The commission is made up of a vice chair of the Board of Regents, senior university administrators, and two groups of faculty-those recommended to the President by the Provost and those recommended by the Faculty Senate.
Over the past eight weeks, the three sub-groups of the Commission (Peer Group Identification, Compensation Philosophy, and Practices and Perceptions of Compensation at the University of Hartford) have continued their work on their assigned areas. Our consultant, Frank Casagrande, was on campus November 3-4 to meet with the leaders of the three sub-groups and to spend two hours with the full Commission.
The Commission determined early on that an important first step was to get broad faculty feedback regarding these three important areas via a survey instrument. Each sub-group has formulated questions for further exploration. They have reviewed several sample surveys and the sub-group leaders will soon be working with Professor Robert Duran, School of Communication, who has volunteered to serve as the architect of the faculty survey.
The Commission hopes to be able to review the survey instrument when they meet on December 14. At that time, Frank will help determine next steps including when to distribute the survey, how long it will take to analyze the results, and how to most effectively report survey findings to the faculty community.
In addition to the survey of faculty members, other members of the community will also be engaged through multiple methods to gather perceptions and insights to inform the process and help form the recommendations of the Commission.
The work continues on all fronts as we seek to explore and address this important topic.
The Commission met on December 14 to review a draft of the full-time faculty survey prepared by Professor Bob Duran. The survey includes topics related to compensation at the University of Hartford (practices, perceptions, criteria for peer groups, and our compensation philosophy). This meeting represented a milestone in this shared work; the Commission is generating momentum going into the holidays and the members are to be commended for their continued and active engagement.
Looking ahead to 2012, the survey to full-time faculty is scheduled to go out electronically during the third week of January. This survey will be one of several methods of collecting data from our campus community as the Commission works toward making a recommendation to the Provost and the President.
The survey to full-time faculty was distributed on Wednesday, January 18. The survey closed on January 25. 77.6% of full-time faculty responded to the survey - an indication of the interest in this topic and the importance of the work of the commission. Results of the survey have been shared with our consultant and they will be presented to the Commission at a February meeting.
The results of the survey continue to inform the work of the three sub-groups of the Commission.
The Commission has began examining market data from the identified peer group of comparison. This examination and comparison to University of Hartford data will take place over several weeks. It will assist the Commission as it forms it recommendation to the President.
The Commission is working on the finalization of a peer comparison group that matches the range and diversity of the University of Hartford. They are also completing the draft of a compensation philosophy. The Commission aims to share its recommendations with President Harrison later in the year.
The Commission has completed its work for the 2011-2012 academic year. This year-long process has concluded with a final report from the consultant that represents a series of recommendations. The final report includes:
Our consultant presented the final report of the Commission to President Harrison
Our consultant will be returning to campus for a set of open forums to discuss the report within the context of higher education compensation theory and practice. These forums will take place at the following dates, times, and locations:
Tuesday, September 11, 12:15 pm to 1:45 pm, Wilde Auditorium
Wednesday, September 12, 9:00 am to 10:30 am, Wilde Auditorium
The report shared at these open forums and the peer group listing are now available (Hartford user name and password required).
Provost Sharon L. Vasquez asked a working group of faculty to review the report and recommended possible steps for implementation. The membership of the working group included:
The report of the working group was submitted to Provost Vasquez.
Provost Vasquez will be meeting with the members of the full commission and the working group to determine next action steps.