House: Teacher salaries need equal attention

It is important for a university to offer competitive wages to retain and attract qualified administrators. U President Michael Young’s salary is below the national average, which is why the Board of Regents recently granted Young a 5 percent salary increase

This is the second year Young has received a 5 percent increase, causing his salary to rise $34,000 in two years. The president’s salary needs to be competitive, and if the U wishes to retain and attract qualified leaders, future salary increases can be expected.

Although his salary still remains below average, Young’s raise sets a bad precedent when similar attention is not given to teachers’ salaries.

Earlier this year, the Utah State Legislature passed a bill granting a 3 percent salary increase for all university employees and a 2 percent cost of living increase dedicated to health care expenses. Although any increase in teachers’ salaries is appreciated, faculty raises continue to trail those of top administrators.

More attention needs to be given to professors who earn significantly less and whose salaries are raised less frequently and in smaller increments than the salaries of university presidents and administrators.

The gap appears even larger when Young’s additional compensation are considered: a Mercedes and a home in the upscale Federal Heights neighborhood.

If university salaries are to be competitive, they need to be competitive for everyone. Many colleges and departments on campus are struggling to retain faculty members who are being offered better paying positions at other universities.

Young’s salary increase should serve as an example for the Legislature to make similar considerations, and as often, for teachers. Otherwise, this action is just another case of the rich getting richer while others stand in place.

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