UW-Eau Claire: Boost Enrollment To Fund Pay Raises

Chancellor Hopes To Bring In Nearly 900 New Students

Carolyn Tiry (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire plans to increase enrollment to offer pay raises to faculty and staff. The goal? Stem the tide of employees leaving for higher paying jobs at out-of-state universities.

UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Jim Schmidt has lost 25 tenure-track faculty in the last year to competing offers from out-of-state universities, partly because of pay discrepancies with states like Minnesota.

“UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff are paid 18.6 percent less than their peers at institutions like Winona State University or St. Cloud State University,” Schmidt said.

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UW-Eau Claire plans to offset that pay gap by increasing enrollment to 2010 levels, which works out to roughly 900 additional students. With the revenue generated by the added tuition payments coming to the school, Schmidt hopes to offer merit-pay raises of anywhere from 1-3 percent for faculty and staff.

“This is not going to solve the problem,” Schmidt said. “But I think it’s important to put your money where your mouth is, and I think it’s incumbent on me and other leaders at the institution to demonstrate that we are going to try to find the path through these dark woods by ourselves.”

Other UW campus officials said they’ve also been working to find funding sources to address pay gaps with out-of-state universities.

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