Navigating the best path forward for salary increases

Friday, February 7, 2020

Since my arrival on Appalachian’s campus in 2014, I have remained steadfast in my commitment to improve working conditions for all Appalachian employees. This includes investing in our physical infrastructure to support our faculty, staff and students. It also includes improving the compensation structure for our most valuable resource: our people.

As I advocate for Appalachian at the state level, I consistently emphasize these two key areas.

Authorization, compliance and reporting measures for different sources of funds add additional layers of complexity to an already complex system.

Remaining competitive in the current higher education market is critical to Appalachian’s success, and competitive compensation is one key to recruiting and retaining the talented faculty and staff who create the premier undergraduate experience for which Appalachian is often lauded.

The ideal scenario for salary increases is legislative funding and authority to provide a merit-based annual raise process this year. It remains my priority to continue advocating for this option using every available avenue.

However, in the event that we ultimately do not get an approved budget and authority to conduct an annual raise process, we will explore options within our existing campus authority. For example, at my direction, Vice Chancellor Paul Forte and Human Resources Director Mark Bachmeier have been working with Academic Affairs to identify how resources can best be applied toward labor market adjustments for faculty and staff.

At this point, we feel the best path forward is to wait for the legislature to reconvene, and make a decision that will have the broadest possible impact for the most employees, but we are prepared to act within our existing authority.

It is important we control what we can as we continue advocating for a sustainable source of funds and the authority to move forward, unified in our shared goal to achieve a compensation structure that matches the talent of our employees.

/s/ Sheri Everts

Sheri Everts, Chancellor