Saturday, February 23, 2013

E-mail from President Cruzado: August 24, 2011

Dear Colleagues:

A few weeks ago, I provided you with information about Montana State University's financial health and ways in which, with your help, we are managing the university's resources.  To continue the open communication we have established, I would like to share some information about proposed budget considerations, including salary adjustments at MSU for the next biennium.

The Board of Regents of the Montana University System has recognized the importance of providing quality education to its more than 45,000 students and the need to invest in our human capital--our faculty and staff--to maintain the quality of education our students deserve.  With this in mind, last May the Regents approved a five percent (5%) tuition increase for each of the next two years.

The funds generated will allow us to invest in resources necessary to serve our record student enrollment, such as additional course sections and student-centered projects that will enhance access, classroom facilities and advising.  The Regents also allowed us to consider modest salary adjustments for our faculty and staff members.

At its upcoming meeting in September, the Board of Regents will consider some of the collective bargaining agreements for unionized faculty and staff for the Montana University System.  We at MSU will also make a proposal for salary adjustments for non-union faculty and staff at our four campuses and agencies.

Pending Board approval, the proposal would increase base salary by one percent (1%) plus an annualized amount of $500.  If approved, the adjustments would be effective October 1, 2011.  Effective October 1, 2012, the proposal would include a base salary increase of two percent (2%) plus an annualized amount of $500.  For those faculty and staff covered by collective bargaining agreements, several unions have reached tentative agreements with the salary provisions described above. The Montana University System will continue to bargain with all remaining unions until a successful agreement is reached.

While the proposed increases are modest, I am thankful that the Board is willing to consider this well-deserved action, particularly given current economic circumstances, limits to state funding and our desire to minimize the impact of tuition increases.

I want personally to thank each and every one of you for the contributions you have made to Montana State University and for the dedication you have shown in serving our students.  I look forward to a productive new academic year and your continued support of your university, Montana State.


Waded Cruzado