Deaton, Forsee ask for patience regarding staff compensation concerns

Friday, May 14, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA – A recent employee benefits survey shows widespread displeasure in salaries throughout the UM System, but university officials say it’s too early to tell whether any changes can be made.

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton and UM System President Gary Forsee met with MU’s Staff Advisory Council on Thursday to address compensation concerns, but they stressed there is still a lot of work to do before any plans can be made.

Forsee, citing current economic difficulties in the nation and the state, asked staff for patience while information is being processed.

“This will continue to get full attention from me, the chancellors and the government, and we will continue to report back to you,” Forsee said.

Council Vice Chair Amy Lana questioned retaining productive staff in a time of hiring freezes and tight budgets, but Forsee and Deaton were unable to give a definitive solution to the problem.

“There’s really no good answer to that question,” Forsee said, “but you can expect us to be as creative as possible and make tough trade-offs to deal with the salary issue.”

The meeting came amid a flurry of economic issues: a 5.2 percent budget cut will hit MU in fiscal year 2011, and recent data shows faculty salaries at MU are the lowest in the Association of American Universities.

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