The Governor and General Assembly of Virginia announced on Tuesday that they approved a one-time bonus for all salaried employees here at the University of Mary Washington.
Instructional, research, post-doctoral fellows, administrative and professional faculty and classified staff will all receive a bonus worth three percent of their yearly earnings.
The bonus, to be paid Dec. 12, is a monumental improvement from last years’ reward to the faculty, $200 gift cards to the high-class department store, Macy’s.
While we at the Bullet believe this bonus is a well-deserved gift to our faculty, we acknowledge that it is only the first step in showing the dedicated instructors and professors of our university that they are valued and appreciated.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, salaries of full and assistant professors at UMW have risen only $14,000 in the past 11 years while associate professors and instructors have seen a dismal raise of $9,000.
This information is disheartening when compared with other public universities in Virginia.
Christopher Newport University, a school with only 600 more undergraduates than UMW, has seen raises ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 for their teaching staff since 2001.
The College of William and Mary gave their professors raises of more than $17,000, with full professors earning an average of $117,600, more than $35,500 higher than what full professors make at UMW.
This information is troubling because it hinders UMW’s chances of holding on to, and courting, the most qualified teachers in the state. When applying for teaching jobs, a highly sought-after professor will give greater consideration to the school offering, not only a better salary, but the promise of an increasing income with the changing economy.
In addition, our best, untenured professors may find themselves wandering toward jobs with more welcoming offers.
This bonus is an important advancement in showing our appreciation for the gifted and accomplished professors here at UMW, but to retain our valued professors, we must show them that they are appreciated.