DFA Letter Re: UC CAP Salary Recommendations
The Board of the DFA has recently considered an analysis of the UC salary scale and recommendations by the system wide CAP (please see the link to the original document www.universityofcalifornia.edu/senate/underreview/ucap.merit.0806.pdf. We find the statistics disturbing in terms of the apparent dismantling of the UC salary scale. We were also disturbed by the suggestion by UC CAP that further fractionation of the salary scale for non professional scale employees would ameliorate the situation. A letter has been sent to the Chair of the Senate, Linda Bisson, setting forth our concerns. Please see below:
The Board of the Davis Faculty Association has studied the recent UCAP report on University salaries and has several comments, especially in regard to Principle 3 that is espoused in the report.
There is a great deal to like in the UCAP report. It includes an extensive and excellent compilation of statistics and makes a compelling case for reform. However, a central recommendation is that salary scales be fractionated by field. (Principles 3 and 4 and Policy Recommendation 1 [quoted below]). Although some of this already exists, it is limited to a few fields closely tied to professions and professional schools. It has not split the main academic fields. A recommendation for a major departure from the history and culture of the University calls for an analysis of costs and benefits that is more careful and comprehensive than the discussion in this report.
In our view, the recommendation is fundamentally at odds with the concept of a merit based system. Is there any rationale (other than market forces) for scholars of similar accomplishment in different fields to be paid substantially dissimilar salaries? If the principle that the market is the main determiner of salary is accepted and fractionation by field is established, what logic could prevent fractionation by campus? This recommendation will then undermine one of the main goals of the report, i.e. to return to a system-wide salary scale. Further, the temptations to manipulate evidence for the”market rate” in each field will be irresistible.
If it is accepted that some academic fields, simply by their name, lay claim to higher salaries, it is likely that the higher paid fields will come to be thought of as more valuable to the teaching, research, and service missions of the University. Can this have any consequence other than to create arbitrary tiers of faculty and to undermine morale? In our opinion, the dominant science-driven culture of the University does not always acknowledge the importance of scholarship and education in the humanities. We do not wish to deliberately institute a salary system that is likely to exacerbate this unfortunate situation.
The salary schedule for the Merit and Promotion process should be subdivided into stipends by discipline area.
Maintenance of faculty salaries, by discipline, at market values must be a top priority of the President and the Board of Regents in their annual negotiations with the Governor and State Legislature.
Policy Recommendation 1:
A short term Policy should include implementation of a panel of competitive salary schedules that would partition the general faculty into a number of cohorts by disciplines.
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