UVM faculty union claims administrative ‘salary bloat’

The union representing faculty at the University of Vermont issued a report Monday showing that administrative salaries have more than doubled in the past 10 years.

The analysis was released on the day that faculty and university officials began negotiations on a new three-year contract.

Denise Youngblood, president of UVM’s local of United Academics, said the increases amount to “administrative bloat,” at the same time the university has warned faculty and staff to prepare for program cuts and layoffs.

Youngblood said that while the university is “pleading poverty” in negotiations “it always finds money to pay themselves large salaries.”

The UA review of executive salaries showed that pay for top level administrators (president, provost, deans and vice presidents) grew 132 percent from 2003-2012, according to a news release. The number of administrators increased from 23 to 35 (or 52 percent) in that period. It said the number of full-time faculty increased 10 percent in the same period and that enrollment grew by 40 percent.

The university provided a link to its own managerial study.

The UA review says the average administrator salary is $210,851, or 2.65 times that of a full-time faculty member.

Youngblood, a professor of Russian history at UVM for 25 years, said the union wants to increase pay for the “lowest ranks of non-tenure-track lecturers.”

UVM spokesman Enrique Corredera said the university could not discuss the negotiations.

“The university looks forward to a set of productive, good-faith negotiating sessions with United Academics that lead to a new, mutually agreeable contract,” Corredera wrote in an email. “Both the university and the union agreed not to engage in public discussion on any of the issues that will be appropriately dealt with at the bargaining table, and the university intends to honor that agreement. As a general principle, the university strives to remain competitive in the market with respect to staffing and compensation levels for all positions among comparable institutions.”

The UA study was released just before the bargaining media blackout began.

This article was updated at 5:35 p.m. Monday. An earlier version of this article incorrectly characterized lecturers as tenure-track.

Tom Brown

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  • sandra bettis

    hmmm….salaries go up, tuitions go up. maybe we should be doing the opposite….

  • Jim Dean

    This seems to reflect the common dynamic in the American approach: increasing portions of budget go to administrative expenses, often at the expense of the core mission – here, properly educating increasing numbers of students. UVM’s response seems to be that this distortion is less pronounced than elsewhere, which is not exactly encouraging, especially since the “competitive disadvantage” argument for ratcheting up administrative salaries is obviously in evidence. The story, and accompanying reports, however, does support the faculty position that their salaries are not the main driver to increased education costs.

  • Tim Smith

    This coming from a college that preaches divestment from Big oil, yet pays admin stafff crazy wages for what??

  • David Black

    Yeah baby, I am sure they earn and deserve every penny they get, just like former Pres. Folly.

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