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Proposal would link professor performance to pay

BY JOSEPH BELK | FEBRUARY 16, 2010 7:30 AM

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The UI should reconsider General Education Fund allocations, factoring in suggestions to tie faculty salary to performance and investing in more programs to bring in tuition revenue, a task force said Monday.

Under the new salary proposal, professors would be compensated based on how well they meet the obligations of their departments. Faculty who exceed those expectations could be awarded bonuses in addition to their base salaries, the report said.

Task-force member and UI Faculty Council President David Drake said each department would have its own performance criteria based on evaluating teaching, research, and service effectiveness.

However, he said he didn’t think they would ever make evaluations dependent upon student grades.

Drake acknowledged professors may express concerns about the proposed policy. No UI professors that The Daily Iowan contacted offered an opinion Monday evening — most declined comment because they hadn’t read the report.

“There’s a movement like this in a number of universities in the country, but we have to tread very, very carefully,” Drake said.

Performance-based salaries could be approved in as little as one year.

In addition, the task force also suggested restructuring General Education Fund allocations:

• Boosting the number of courses offered to better take advantage of available faculty, as well as technological resources.

• Increasing this revenue stream by adding more summer and evening classes and adding 12-month program attendance requirements.

The report said the move was in line with the importance of tuition revenue to the UI, particularly as state allocations dwindle. Officials referred to this initiative as “24/7/12.”

• Encouraging stronger links between the graduate and undergraduate programs by implementing early enrollment in graduate schools and rewarding graduate-school professors who engage undergraduate students, though no specifics were specified.

• Asking colleges and departments to create new programs which would generate revenue or reduce costs. Administrators could use investing in promising activities as incentives.

A financial source for the proposed fund has not been determined.

Sue Curry, the dean of the UI College of Public Health, said task-force members educated themselves on the budget process before making suggestions.


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