When the state Legislature gave the University of Wyoming $2.77 million last month for the university to give out as an across-the-board salary increase, that didn’t include money for employees not funded by UW’s general fund.
That means UW will need to find an extra $1.5 million elsewhere if grant-funded positions and people paid through student fees — like residence life and dining staff — are to get the same 2.1 percent salary increase that professors and other staff can expect this year.
Jeanne Durr, UW’s human resources director, said earlier this month she wasn’t sure if all non-generally funded positions would get a 2 percent raise.
This week, however, trustee John McKinley urged administrators to “try to figure out a solution” so that the plan raises truly apply across-the-board.
“I think we need to try and solve it internally,” he said.
Administrators are hoping supervisors with non-generally funded staff can find those funds within their existing budgets.
Alex Kean, director of budget and institutional planning, told the trustees that those supervisors have been directed to budget for a 2 percent increase for their 2020 fiscal year budget.
“That was our methodology to discover who has to funds to cover this increase,” he said.
Durr said she’s still not certain if the Legislature’s appropriation of $2.77 million is subject to be distributed in accordance with UW’s annual salary distribution policy, which prevents employees whose job performance is rated as “unacceptable” or “needs improvement” from receiving the increase.
When that policy was originally approved by the trustees in 2018, the job performance rating system didn’t apply to faculty.
However, the policy is now being updated to put faculty on the same five-point job performance scale all other employees are on.
The trustees were originally scheduled to sign off on the revised policy Thursday, but delayed their final approval until their May meeting after Faculty Senate chairman Donal O’Toole asked for time for his body to review the policy.
“My understanding is that the department heads are unhappy with this (policy),” he said.
UW general counsel Tara Evans noted that it was a decision by Provost Kate Miller to put faculty on the five-point scale, and that decision was independent of the new policy.
Such policies, formally known as Standard Administrative Policies and Procedures, typically don’t come to the trustees for approval.
President Laurie Nichols said the trustees’ heightened interest in salaries merited a different procedure.
“Simply because we knew there would be much interest from the board, we approached this differently,” Nichols said Thursday. “We really worked this through with the trustees so that we could make sure we had full support.”