Student record

Crawford’s raise and bonus spark controversy among faculty

The University of Miami board of trustees announced it had added an additional year to President Greg Crawford’s contract, which now runs for five years through 2027.

The board also gave Crawford a 4% annual raise as well as a bonus of $75,000 a year. The raise takes his salary to $551,665, while the bonus bumps it up to $626,665 a year — a figure considerably higher than what an average faculty member earns.

Board chair Mary Schell said in a press release that Crawford’s performance throughout the pandemic played a role in their compensation decision.

“His leadership has been innovative and has kept us focused on our mission to provide an unparalleled academic experience for Miami students,” Schell said. “The Board is pleased with Greg’s leadership and the direction the university is taking.

The Faculty Alliance of Miami (FAM) was quick to point out that the annual nature of the bonus makes it a guaranteed income, so in the long run, Crawford received an 18% raise, while most faculty received 4%.

Cathy Wagner, an English teacher and lead organizer at FAM, said it was disheartening to hear about Crawford’s raise knowing what those at the bottom of the payroll earn.

“Our instructors at regional campuses are the lowest paid in the state, and we have part-time employees who earn less than $3,000 per class,” Wagner said. “There is a class of employees in Miami that is treated extremely differently from other classes.”

Wagner stressed that she had nothing against Crawford and was more concerned about the pay gap between administrators and faculty. She said Miami reveals its values ​​in how it allocates money.

James Kiper, a computer science professor who retired last year, said he had no problem with Crawford’s raise. Kiper said it was necessary to pay that amount to presidents in order to attract top talent. Crawford’s salary, he said, is the competitive rate the university must pay to have a good president.

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“When you compare [his salary] for faculty, it’s probably a six-to-one or seven-to-one difference,” Kiper said. “Which is far from the difference in salary in large companies, where the leaders earn millions.”

Wagner acknowledged that the difference in pay highlights inequality within our society and in higher education.

“[Pay] doesn’t seem to be related to the work that’s actually being done,” Wagner said. “It’s the status quo, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything, we’re not powerless to improve our lives.”

Theresa Kulbaga, an English teacher at the Oxford and Hamilton campuses in Miami, said she was frustrated with the disproportionate increase in faculty received, which she says will not keep up with inflation.

“We’re lucky if we get a few percent a year in the overall merit increase pool, which isn’t even a pool that applies to all faculty,” Kulbaga said. “It’s the pool that presidents have to decide who gets a 1% raise, who gets 2%, who gets 3% in any given year.”

Kulbaga said the low salaries of non-tenured professors are exacerbated by the university’s resistance to their inclusion in the faculty union.

“It reflects the values ​​of the university when precarious faculty are underpaid and also told they are not in the bargaining unit with tenured and tenured faculty,” Kulbaga said. “In a way, they are a different category of employees, even though they basically do the same job.”

Kiper argued that Crawford’s pay is fair, although he thinks non-tenured faculty should be paid more. Yet, he said, teachers should be motivated by more than money.

“There are reasons we choose to teach and not take the higher paying jobs, because we love working with students, we love doing research,” Kiper said. “It’s a lifestyle choice that we make, not just following the dollar, but doing what makes us happy.”

Ashlea Jones, director of executive communications, wrote in an email to the Miami student that the board made its decision after considering the accomplishments of the previous academic year, including the completion of recommendations of the DEI working group and a banner year. for fundraising.

“The average raise pool for this year was 4% for Miami employees, and the Board of Directors voted to give Chairman Crawford a 4% salary increase,” Jones wrote.

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