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Sullivan Talks Competitive Compensation at UVA Board Meeting - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Sullivan Talks Competitive Compensation at UVA Board Meeting

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University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan wants to add $65 million to the annual payroll.  Thursday afternoon, she laid out her plan to bring faculty salaries back in line after remaining stagnant for five years.

Sullivan addressed the UVA Board of Visitors at its monthly meeting.  Stagnant salaries and an aging faculty are key reasons why she is asking for millions of dollars. 

"The people we hire and the choices we make in the next few years will be the defining factors for the university in the decades ahead," Sullivan said.

Sullivan wants $65 million added to the annual faculty payroll, and $110 million in one-time funding for startup packages for science and engineering.

She said, "This will be a very high priority because our admissions of teaching, research and clinical care depend so critically on the faculty."

Sullivan says the good news is 60 percent of the money is already covered.  The rest would need to come from state and university funds, philanthropy and endowment funds - which is controversial.

"It's important for us to make sure our salaries here are competitive with other universities who would try to attract them," said UVA Vice Provost J. Milton Adams.  "That's the most important thing."

Over the next decade, half of the faculty on staff will retire.  UVA currently ranks 26th in terms of salaries compared to peer universities.  Sullivan says they need to be in the top 20 by 2016. 

All of this is tied into the university's short-range strategic plan, which is still under development.  The process will begin with an assessment of the university's strengths and weaknesses.  The committee on that assignment hopes to have a preliminary set of strategies mapped out by January with a full plan by next August.

UVA Board of Visitors member Linwood Rose said, "It will set the strategic direction for the university."

The board of visitors meets again Friday.  On the agenda is a proposal to require all board members be present for any presidential contract changes and an important report about UVA's financial aid program.

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