Governor chastises Western Washington U. for giving "significant salary increases" to faculty
The Bellingham Herald
July 5, 2012
Western Washington U. president Bruce Shepard Gov. Chris Gregoire has chastised Western Washington University for giving "significant salary increases" to faculty during a poor economy while students faced tuition hikes of 16 percent.
"In the worst economic times in 80 years, I am surprised that Western has entered into a collective bargaining agreement that provides for a salary increase of 5.25 percent effective in 2012-13, a 4.25 percent salary increase each year during the 2013-15 biennium, a 10 percent increase for faculty and instructors who are promoted, and an additional 15 percent increase in stipends for department chairs," Gregoire wrote in the letter that WWU President Bruce Shepard received on Monday, July 2.
The new three-year contract with United Faculty of Western Washington, which was approved by Western's board of trustees, goes into effect Sept. 16.
Western and the union defended the increases, saying that faculty - essentially the university's teachers - haven't had an across-the-board salary increase since 2008.
Their current average salaries range from $37,409 for a lecturer to $81,700 for a professor.
They also said the pay increase is needed to make Western competitive in recruiting and keeping faculty, as the university strives to provide the highest quality instruction.