Create a free Diverse: Issues In Higher Education account to continue reading

Raises OK’d for 4 of 5 Southern U Campuses

SHREVEPORT, La. — Southern University’s Board of Supervisors has approved raises for all of its campuses except the flagship campus in Baton Rouge.

Baton Rouge employees could get some increase once the campus budget is clearer, The Advocate reported. Baton Rouge Chancellor James Llorens says he will decide after final enrollment numbers are in.

The raises approved Friday are generally 2 percent at Southern University New Orleans, 3 percent at the law school in Baton Rouge, and 4 percent at the Southern Agricultural Center, also in Baton Rouge.

At the Shreveport campus, instructors asked to teach extra “overload” sections will get $300 for adjunct professors and $500 for full-time faculty, The Times reported.

Faculty overload pay policies at the campus “have historically been low, comparing our overload policy with other institutions in this area,” SUSLA Chancellor Ray Belton said. “The new budget allows for a $500 pay increase in the overload pay for full-time faculty and a $300 increase in overload pay for part-time adjunct professors.”

The board also approved day-care centers for students in Shreveport and New Orleans.

Money for the raises and other projects is from one-time funding, partly from the state Legislature.

“Because we got some help from the Legislature this year, we were not only able to balance the budget, but we were able to build for the future by increasing some salaries and making some other adjustments that I think will work well for Southern in the long run,” system President Ronald Mason said.

Southern system President Ronald Mason called the pay increases for the other units part of his plan to streamline the five campuses, making them more efficient and better equipped to compete for students at a time when state governments around the country are slashing funding for higher education.

Southern has been hit hard by funding reductions, particularly the Baton Rouge campus, as tuition has risen and state-mandated higher admission standards have kicked in.

As a consequence, Southern has become vulnerable to losing staff as employees leave in pursuit of more competitive wages.

Southern University at New Orleans pays moving expenses to get faculty to Louisiana from other states only to lose them to nearby schools, Chancellor Victor Ukpolo said.

“It’s very painful to lose faculty when they go across the street to Xavier or Dillard,” he said.

Southern Agricultural Center Chancellor Leodrey Williams said some of his longtime employees are training newer hires who make more money.

The Law Center’s enrollment is stable but wages have lagged behind peer schools. In addition, employees who have taken on extra duties have not received higher pay.

Chancellor Freddie Pitcher Jr. said his campus is under orders from the state to increase out-of-state tuition enough to resemble the prices charged by peer institutions. Out-of-state tuition has more than doubled over the years from the $4,000 law students were paying several years ago, he said.

A New Track: Fostering Diversity and Equity in Athletics
American sport has always served as a platform for resistance and has been measured and critiqued by how it responds in critical moments of racial and social crises.
Read More
A New Track: Fostering Diversity and Equity in Athletics