Donor support fuels faculty raises

By Estelle Tran

‘ ‘ ‘ The University of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees’ Compensation Committee weighed salary… ‘ ‘ ‘ The University of Pittsburgh’s Board of Trustees’ Compensation Committee weighed salary increases against the institution’s financial situation at its meeting yesterday. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Salary decisions were set for non-officers at the University in August, after the Board adopted the University’s new operating budget. The salaries of continuing faculty members will increase 5.2 percent on average. ‘ ‘ ‘ Despite the worldwide economic struggles, Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs Robert Hill said that Pitt enjoys continuing support from donors, alumni and friends of the University. Pitt has 50,213 total donors. The University’s $2 billion capital campaign raised $1.273 billion as of June 30, the end of the last fiscal year. This figure passed the $1.3 billion mark. ‘ ‘ ‘ Pitt determines many salary increases based on performance in the previous year, and for this reason, the board will consider salary increases for University officers after it can take enrollment, finance and fundraising figures into account, according to a news release. Hill said that the University has a plan if the economy worsens. ‘ ‘ ‘We’ll be making adjustments. We can by making adjustments in various units. We can delay filling positions and not filling various vacancies,’ said Hill. ‘ ‘ ‘ At the meeting, the board acknowledged other achievements this year. Pitt recruited higher achieving students, with 78 percent of the freshman class ranked in the top 20 percent of their high school graduating classes. The University also chose these students from the largest applicant pool it has ever received: 20,639 prospective students. ‘ ‘ ‘ Hill said that Pitt’s achievement is unlike those of smaller, private institutions. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘It is easy to remain small and good, but to be a large school and grow and have high quality, that’s a challenge,’ said Hill. ‘ ‘ ‘ The Board also highlighted Pitt’s increasing research expenditures, which rose from $620 million in 2007 to $642 million in 2008. Pitt ranks sixth nationally in overall research funding and 10th for support with federal science and engineering research and development. ‘ ‘ ‘ The American Association of State Colleges and Universities reported that every $1 million spent in research and development creates 36 jobs. ‘ ‘ ‘ According to this statistic, Pitt’s work with research is responsible for 23,000 local jobs.