No Allowance For Teachers

No Allowance For Teachers

(Ryan Naeve/ The Vista). 

A stipend program that was used primarily for one-time payments has not been used since fiscal year 2014-15, according to the UCO budget.

UCO’s vice president of finance, Patti Neuhold said the stipend program was used to help employees with one-time investments to help offset the cost of living or acknowledging professional accomplishments.

Due to the nearly 5-percent cut to higher education’s state appropriations and the hike in tuition, the two main factors that impact the Unversity budget, money was moved around to be able to pay for teachers and other key departments.

“When you have a lot of good people who can find jobs somewhere else for a lot more money, it’s really hard to not try and shift or move money around in order to keep good people,” Neuhold said.

Neuhold said she lost two people in her office to other universities because they could find more pay. She said the university has not been able to generate enough additional revenue in order to pay for teachers at a competitive market rate.

The salary adjustments within the budget have a direct correlation with the amount of money that goes into the university budget.

“Because we are losing state funding and our enrollment is declining a bit, we are actually taking existing dollars from operating budgets and people are just reallocating those,” Neuhold said.

She said moving the money around is just internal reallocations and not additional expenses.

Departments typically have their own operating budgets, Neuhold said, although some may not have a salary budget, depending on what type of staff is within the department and how they get paid.

Comparing last year’s budget to this year, there was a decrease in the salary adjustments for professional staff and faculty but an increase in the salaries for skilled workers and non-exempt staff.

Neuhold said that could be because of a variety of reasons, from not having enough money or some departments that don’t need adjustments.

“We can only take out of operating before we are left with nothing to operate on,” Neuhold said.

Some of the money that has been shifted around in the budget includes a lower raise in teacher pay from last year that has gone to pay to tenure professors.

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