CSUSM Campus-based Faculty Salary Equity Plan

From: Darel Engen, San Marcos CFA Chapter President

Subject: Official Announcement: CSUSM Campus-based Faculty Salary Equity Plan

Tue, 5 May 2015

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

As you might have seen, President Haynes sent out by email yesterday afternoon her official announcement of the Campus Salary Equity Program (see below). 

The announcement does not provide as many details of the program as we had hoped, so I will try to explain some of them here.

The Program basically has four parts:

1.  A 1% GSI for all TT Faculty to reduce salary compression relative to the market across all ranks and disciplines.

2.  Equity adjustments on a case-by-case basis for all TT Faculty to address salary inversion within ranks by discipline based on years of service. Essentially, what the Provost did here was to undertake a regression analysis that indicates what the norm should be for faculty salaries by rank, years of service, and discipline. Those faculty whose salaries are significantly under the norm will receive raises that will bring them closer to the norm. The amount of the raises will depend on the degree to which a given faculty member’s salary is inverted relative to his/her peers within the same rank and discipline. Many TT Faculty will receive equity raises of this type.

3.  Equity adjustments on a case-by-case basis for all TT Faculty to address salary inversion between ranks by discipline. Here the Provost established minimum salaries for Full and Associate Professors by discipline that are at least 7.5% above the highest paid Professors at a lower rank in the same discipline so that promotions over the next several years won’t immediately create new inversions within ranks based on years of service. Thus, those faculty suffering from salary inversion between ranks will receive the highest raises. However, this group constitutes fewer than 20 faculty members on campus who are actually being paid less than those at a lower rank.

4.  A 1% GSI for all 3-Year Lecturers. We would have liked for all Lecturers to receive equity raises, but President Haynes was not willing to do this. We fought hard to get at least 3-Year Lecturers included in the program (which is the case at only a few CSU campuses), and—when it was decided by the Provost to award a GSI rather than to undertake the challenges of calculating salary inequities among Lecturers owing to their inconsistent time-bases from year to year—we also fought hard to make sure that the GSI would be at least 1%. 

In fact, because of the dissatisfaction expressed by many Lecturers with this program (your voice was definitely heard), I made the case to the Provost over the weekend that anything less than a 1% GSI for 3-Year Lecturers (which he had indicated was a distinct possibility) would be unacceptable. To his credit, he had the wisdom to accede to our demands. 

The overall funding pool for the program is around $660,000. Some $600,000 will cover the TT Faculty, and approximately $60,000 will cover the GSI for 3-Year Lecturers. TT Faculty will see their equity raises on their June 1 paycheck. 3-Year Lecturers will see their GSI on their July 1 paychec—-this was another guarantee that I was able to get from the Provost in our correspondence over the weekend, again as a result of the concerns that were expressed by many Lecturers that these raises would not be fulfilled in a timely manner. 

All raises will be retroactive to January 1, 2015, and then continue for perpetuity. We would have liked for the raises to have been retroactive to July 1, 2014, but the President would not fund that. As a result, we are receiving a funding pool for this fiscal year that is only half as much as is needed for a full year of funding. However, we can at least take solace in the fact that the program will have to be fully funded going forward from July 1, 2015.

Again, this is not the ideal equity program, and it certainly doesn’t bring our salaries up to anywhere near where they should be. Nor does it help non-3-Year Lecturers in any way, and for this we are truly disappointed, given that they comprise a large portion of our faculty, and yet they get paid so poorly.

For all its shortcomings, though, this program is still a gain. In general, it is some kind of raise, when we had none for so many years. 

In particular, it provides equity for those TT Faculty who have been underpaid relative to their peers by rank, years of service, and discipline, while also providing the anticipated and deserved supplement to the small raises received by the most senior faculty from Year 1 of the current Contract.

Of course, though, we have to do more to get more. With Reopener Bargaining on Salary for Year 2 of the Contract now underway, it’s time to fight again for the raises we want, need, and deserve for all faculty–and particularly for Lecturers who were left out of the Equity Program. 

Contract bargaining is where we can do the most for Lecturers, and I have already written to the Chair of CFA’s Bargaining Team, Kevin Wehr, to emphasize to him that Lecturer raises should be a high priority in this round of bargaining so that in the long run all faculty groups will get the raises they deserve. 

All faculty should make their voices heard to express their desires for Year 2 of the Contract, and all faculty should be ready to take action should it be needed to encourage the Chancellor and his bargaining team to come around to our point of view. 

CFA will be providing bargaining updates over the summer, so please be ready to act should a call go out. 

For now, tell us your concerns, get your colleagues (particularly Lecturers!) to become CFA members, sign the petition to tell the CSU Board of Trustees to pay faculty a fair wage and to prioritize quality education for students at:

And, join us at the May 19 CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach to show them the strength of our numbers in person. 

This will be a long struggle, but if we stick together and keep working toward our collective goals, we will prevail. 

Good luck closing out the semester, and have a great summer!

Sincerely and in solidarity,


Darel Engen

Associate Professor, 
Department of History

CFA Chapter President
, California State University San Marcos  

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CSU SAN MARCOS | Office of the President

DATE: May 4, 2015
TO: Faculty
FROM: Karen S. Haynes, President                   
SUBJECT:  CSUSM Campus-based Faculty Salary Equity Plan

I am pleased to announce the following details regarding the CSUSM campus-based faculty salary equity plan:

1. In recognition of the fact that faculty salaries remain compressed relative to the market, every tenure-track faculty member will receive a general salary increase of 1.0 percent.

2. Furthermore, we recognize that there are inequities among faculty within each of the ranks in many departments across the campus, such that faculty who have been in a given rank for a short time, might be earning more than a faculty member who has been in the same rank for longer. We have reviewed the faculty salaries in every department, and where such in-rank inversions exist, we have provided an increase to the more senior faculty members to help redress the situation, bearing in mind that there is always a limit to the available funding.

3.  Furthermore, there are inequities among faculty between the ranks in many departments, such that for example, an associate professor in a given department might be currently earning more than a full professor in the same department. To address this situation, we have determined a minimum salary for associate professors and similarly a minimum salary for full professors in each department. Where these inter-rank salaries inversions exist, we have provided an increase in salary to the faculty in the higher rank to correct the situation. These “salary floors” vary by discipline and could change with time, but it has been our goal to make these adjustments in a way that will be good for at least four to six years.

4.  In recognition of the value that lecturers add to the instructional program at CSUSM, we will be providing a general salary increase of 1.0 percent to all lecturers with three-year contracts.

These salary increases will be backdated to January 1, 2015, which has allowed us to maximize the use of the funds that were set aside for this project. Salary increases for tenure-track faculty will be provided in the end-of-May paychecks. Salary increases for lecturers will be provided no later than the end of June and will also be backdated to January 1, 2015. Before the end of the semester, all tenure-track and three-year lecturer faculty will receive written notification of their specific salary increases.

I want to thank Provost Graham Oberem for his thoughtful and thorough work on this project which is important to all of our faculty. He has discussed with me on each iteration as well as consulted with the CFA during the process. So, while I am very pleased with this plan, the hard work was not mine, but I am glad to be able to announce this today.