Friday, July 27, 2001

UC told it can afford faculty raises

Funds temporary, university says

By Emily Biuso
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Faculty negotiators told University of Cincinnati administrators Thursday that money is available for salary increases in untapped university resources.

        “We've argued that the university is not suffering a financial crisis so much as it's suffering a crisis of priorities,” said John Brackett, a member of the negotiating team for the American Association of University Professors.

        But UC spokesman Greg Hand said the resources suggested by faculty are those that cannot be used to fund salary increases because they are temporary sources of funding.

        “You can't give yourself a raise out of that money, because it will be gone,” Mr. Hand said.

        The AAUP presented its rebuttal to the administration's financial presentation Thursday during the fifth session of negotiations for a new three-year contract.

        The AAUP's presentation came in response to Associate Director of Finance James Plummer's presentation of the 2001-02 projected budget made during bargaining July 12.

        Dr. Brackett said the administration needs to look beyond the general funds budget.

        “There are lots of other funds available,” Dr. Brackett, a history professor, said.

        The university reported $66.6 million in unrestricted endowment funds last year, and unrestricted unspent funds amounted to $78 million, Dr. Brackett said. Un- restricted endowment is endowment with no specific intent. Unrestricted unspent fund balances arise when less money is spent than received.

        The AAUP is pointing to these funds to finance across-the-board salary increases.

        Mr. Hand said that only permanent funding sources can be matched with permanent expenses such as salaries. State subsidies and tuition are examples of permanent funding sources, he said.

        The university is receiving slightly less money from the state next year than it received this year, Mr. Hand said.

        “There's been no planning for periodic crises in state subsidies, which are predictable by now,” Dr. Brackett said.

        Mr. Hand responded that UC is facing a financial shortfall despite budget cuts and tuition increases.

        AAUP represents 1,990 full-time faculty on all five UC campuses. The current three-year contract expires Aug. 31.

        The next bargaining session is scheduled for Aug. 1.


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