Louisiana Senate committee reduces proposed faculty raises, approves money for LSU cybersecurity program | News
The Louisiana Senate Finance Committee on Sunday reduced the proposed faculty salary increase from 5% to 3% and allocated funds for special projects to LSU.
Gov. John Bel Edwards proposed $ 31 million to increase teachers’ salaries in Louisiana colleges and universities in order to bring the Louisiana average closer to the southern regional average.
The Senate gave $ 21 million to the increases, reducing the proposed increase from 5% to 3%.
The average salary of a full-time teacher at a four-year public institution in Louisiana is $ 72,000, according to the Southern Regional Board of Education. That’s more than $ 13,000 below the SREB average.
Louisiana ranks second among the 16 states in the region.
The LSU Faculty has only received regular promotions over the last ten years. Although the university does not offer cost-of-living adjustments, it has offered faculty five “merit increases” since 2010.
Roy Heidelberg, a professor of public administration at LSU, said the lack of increases means workers are receiving a pay cut.
“If those prices keep going up and your income never goes up accordingly, then, in effect, it’s like receiving a pay cut,” Heidelberg said.
Teachers took to Twitter to criticize the Senate’s decision to reduce the increase.
“The president of the Louisiana Senate seems to think that the only reason to give extra money to universities to pay teachers’ salaries is to hire new professors, not to help veteran professors who have had increases in the cost of living in just a handful of years in the last 15 years, “tweeted Bob Mann, a professor of mass communication.
“Schools are community centers. They drive business, they build international relationships. They are the reason young people come and often stay. If you lose those teachers, you cut your knees, “added Elizabeth Gleckler, a public health teacher at Tulane.
Although the committee decided not to raise salaries across the board, senators included salary increases intended to hire faculty for specific programs.
The Senate plan includes $ 250,000 for salary increases for faculty at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, as well as $ 2 million for salary increases for “cancer-related” jobs at LSU health science schools in Shreveport and New Orleans.
LSU asked for more than $ 30 million to hire faculty.
University professors were not the only teachers disappointed. After the Income Estimates Conference forecast higher revenues for the next fiscal year, Edwards asked for $ 2,000 raised for public school teachers and $ 1,000 for support workers.
The Senate chose to keep the $ 1,500 initially requested for teachers and the $ 750 for support workers.
“Clearly there were additional funds available and we really hoped they would be considered a priority,” Tia Mills, president of the Louisiana Educators Association, told Advocate.
The Senate also gave the green light to funds for the academic priorities of LSU President William Tate IV, including $ 5 million for a defense cybersecurity program.
Cybersecurity is a key part of Tate’s Pentagon Plan, for which he applied for a total of $ 30 million and $ 7 million for the Defense Cybersecurity Program.
While LSU requested $ 5 million for LSU A&M and $ 2 million for LSU Shreveport, the Senate included $ 2.5 million for each LSU A&M and LSUS.
It also included nearly $ 1 million in the Senate budget for storm research at LSU.