By JOE GIDDENS
Since summer 2015, the average Pima Community College administrator salary has increased 3.5%, while the average faculty salary has dropped 0.5%, according to a report released by the Pima Community College Education Association, the group that represents the college’s full-time faculty.
Budget woes have been brought on by declining enrollment, yet expenditure limits haven’t been felt equally across college’s employees, according to PCCEA. This is partly because the college is in the middle of a multiyear plan to cut $15 million from its budget.
However, the college did increase staff salaries by 2.5% in fiscal year 2017 as a temporary salary increase.
The severe budget cuts apparently haven’t affected some administrators’ salaries, though, with a third of administrators receiving increases over 2.5%. In fact, salaries for faculty members have decreased four times the rate of salary of administrators, according to Matej Boguszak, the president of PCCEA.
“Some of the increases that went to some of those employees is because we cut a lot of positions and gave them more responsibilities, so they took on additional work and that’s why they got additional pay …,” said Chancellor Lee Lambert during the March 4 Board of Governors study session.
Pima’s Chief Financial Officer David Bea’s position is that PCCEA’s data is cherry picked.
“The data that the faculty are citing are selectively using dates and they’re dates that tell the story a certain way,” Bea said.
Bea points out that administer positions were cut from 62 to 45 and that these took place before positions for faculty were cut.
On June 14, 2017, the Board of Governors approved a 2.5% across-the-board salary increase for all of the college’s employees.
However, that 2.5% hasn’t been enough to keep Pima competitive with other Arizona community colleges. How much are they at Pima versus the other schools? Entry-level faculty salaries have fallen to nearly being seventh in the state, according to PCCEA. This is down from a former governing board goal of being second in the state behind Maricopa College.
“I know money is tight and we have really limited resources, but with that tight budget, they clearly have been able to prioritize raises for some administrators,” Boguszak said. “And then if you add up all of their salaries, that has not been decreasing nearly as fast as … all the faculty salaries.”
So far this fiscal year, five administrator positions have had their salaries substantially increased because of “individual position review.” Pima has an average of 50 individual position reviews for employees over the year, according to Pima spokeswoman Libby Howell.
So far, the following administers have seen their salary increase from that process:
• Michael Amick, vice president/distance learning: $128,284 to $141,050 (10%)
• Lamata Mitchell, vice president/instruction, Downtown Campus: $125,277 to $137,744 (10%)
• Raj Murthy, assistant vice chancellor/information technology: $147,900 to $158,993 (7.5%)
• Ian Roark, vice president/workforce development: $137,744 to $144,436 (4.9%)
• Ted Roush, campus vice president/East Campus: $125,277 to $137,744 (10%)
Conversely, 10 faculty members have received adjustments so far this fiscal year by the same administrative process. Seven of those faculty received less than a 4% increase; two faculty increases were approaching 10%; and a single faculty member did receive 13%, according to data provided by Pima administration.
Pima Chancellor Lee Lambert didn’t receive a raise last year, but his base salary received an almost 12% bump from $298,700 to $333,700 on July 1, 2017. Howell said the spike came about because Pima’s Board of Governors conducted “an extensive compensation study of CEOs of colleges of our size and approximate demographics, and it was a nationwide study.”
Besides full-time faculty, another sector of Pima employees haven’t received much love in regards to pay: adjunct faculty.
“And then we have another employee group that we underpay and that’s our adjunct faculty we really, really need to do a better job,” said Lambert at the study session.
The Board of Governors is looking to make a permanent 1.5% raise for all staff at the May board meeting, according to Bea.