Restore the Cuts to MSU Faculty and Academic Staff Pay and Benefits!
MSU unnecessarily balanced its budget on the backs of faculty and academic staff. We support the MSU Faculty Senate resolution passed near unanimously on November 16, 2021, calling on MSU to restore faculty retirement benefit cuts, pay cuts and merit raises.
President Stanley and the Board of Trustees imposed 10-month salary cuts of 1-8%; an 18-month, 50% cut in retirement match; and at least a 36-month gap between merit raises for all non-union academic management, faculty, and academic staff. These decisions were based on projected pandemic-associated budget shortfalls in state funding of $43M and a loss of $63M in tuition revenue. However:
- President Stanley’s projected $43M loss in state appropriations never happened, resulting in $43M more in the budget than projected. The university also received $7M more in tuition than projected.
- President Stanley projected no federal relief when imposing salary and benefit cuts, but MSU received over $86M in federal covid relief aid in addition to more than $50M in student financial aid.
- MSU's $3.9B endowment grew a record-breaking 42% in 2021. Additionally, MSU has had the highest endowment growth in the Big 10 and is 2nd among all public universities over the past 5 years. Over the same five years, faculty salaries grew less than at any other Big 10 school.
- MSU has amassed nearly $1.8 billion in unrestricted balances, an increase of $474M over last year.
Even with these new financial data, President Stanley and the Board of Trustees have no plans to return the deepest and longest-lasting cuts in salary and benefits among Big 10 universities to faculty and academic staff. What are the consequences of these cuts?
- Combined losses in pay, raise and retirement contributions have resulted in non-union MSU faculty losing the equivalent of 13.42% of a year’s worth of income.
- When cuts and remaining salaries are placed in the context of annual inflation of 6.2%, MSU faculty have lost the equivalent of ~20% of their purchasing power on a year’s worth of income since the pandemic began.
- The 18-month reduction in retirement match, compounded over time will result in a ~$68,000 loss from the typical faculty retirement account.
- MSU faculty salaries had the largest drop of any Big 10 school from 2020 to 2021 and are currently ranked 10 out of 13.
- MSU saw a 30% increase in faculty leaving during the past year.
Faculty and academic staff are struggling with increased teaching, research, and service workloads while managing our own family responsibilities. As wages increase nationally, we've seen our pay, benefits, and purchasing power drop significantly and unnecessarily.
We urge President Stanley and the Board of Trustees to retroactively restore these unnecessary cuts to pay and benefits before more outstanding faculty leave and we jeopardize our ability to attract the best new talent. The costs of recruiting and replacing faculty will far outpace the costs of retaining our best and brightest.
Please share this petition link with your colleagues: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/restore-the-cuts-to-faculty-and-academic-staff-pay