Press Release: Faculty Union Demands Action on Salaries

May 8, 2017



Negotiations will begin soon between the United Faculty of Florida (UFF-UF) and the University of Florida Board of Trustees over faculty salaries. As it did last year, UFF-UF will propose an increase of 6.5%, to be made up of a 2.5% general cost-of-living adjustment and 4% distributed according to approved departmental merit criteria.

UFF-UF proposes this increase as a crucial first step in closing the gap between faculty salaries at the University of Florida and those of our peer institutions, including UC Berkeley, UNC Chapel Hill, University of Illinois, and University of Michigan.  “UF cannot recruit and retain top-notch faculty when it is apparent, even in the public record, that faculty salaries consistently lag those of benchmark institutions” said Steven Kirn, Chapter President of UFF-UF.

UF’s President Kent Fuchs acknowledges that lagging faculty compensation is a concern, even as he has repeatedly emphasized the faculty’s central role in raising UF to one of the top public institutions in the nation.* Last year, an independent Special Magistrate concurred, writing, “UFF’s proposed faculty wage increases will contribute to improving the UF’s position in comparison to its peer universities on the national level.”  He also rejected the administration’s claims that such increases would jeopardize university finances. UF has a $1.5 billion endowment, with $148 million in unrestricted net assets. It has the largest reserve of funds, both in dollars and in percent of operating budget, of any university within the Florida state university system. For three years in a row, UF has been awarded extra funding from the State of Florida as a “preeminent” institution.

UFF looks forward to working with the Board of Trustees’ representatives to achieve fair salaries for all faculty and resolve this impediment to the University’s aspirations to national preeminence.

*”We also appreciate that competitive salaries and support are critical in attracting and retaining the world’s best faculty and graduate students.  We are committed to achieving employee compensation and graduate student stipends that match our peers.”  —W. Kent Fuchs, UF President, State of the University Address, Sept. 24, 2015

“Let me share what I believe is the only truly important and necessary ingredient for raising our stature. It is simply our faculty. Thus, whatever we do as administrators or staff should directly or indirectly enhance the stature of the faculty and their excellence in scholarship, education, and impact on society. … I firmly believe our rankings, our preeminence, and our metrics will take care of themselves if we recruit and promote the very best faculty and provide an environment in which they can be successful.” — W. Kent Fuchs, President, UF, State of the University Address, August 25, 2016

For further information, contact Steven Kirn at 847-528-8282 /; or Susan Hegeman at 352-682-1405.