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Median faculty/staff salaries lowest of Texas schools in LSC

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When talking about football, MSU holds the top spot in the Lone Star Conference. The Model United Nations team took home the most awards of any delegation in MSU history while competing in New York City. But when it comes to salaries, MSU has the lowest median salary — $46,313 — in comparison to five other Lone Star Conference schools.  

Dawn Fisher, director of human resources, said, “Compensation at MSU is contingent upon availability of funds and based on internal and external market equity. In addition to budget availability, faculty salaries are dependent upon the discipline of the individual and faculty rank at the beginning and throughout his or her career.”

According to the data from Texas Tribune in 2016, the median salary for MSU was $46,313. In comparison, the median salary for Tarleton State was $52,000, Texas A&M-Commerce $53,450, Texas A&M Kingsville $50,337, UT Permian Basin $48,172 and West Texas A&M $51,596.

“[The] market helps drive our salaries. Demand for certain disciplines can be a driver for higher salaries. Working closely with compensation managers to ensure salary equity is also critical and stays in line with the job classification,” Edward Romero, chief diversity officer at Texas A&M Commerce, said.

In comparison, out of the other six colleges, Texas A&M Commerce has the highest median salary.

Romero said, “Over the last 10 years, [Texas] A&M Commerce has received a merit increase each year that averages 2 percent. Permanent merit increases can help drive increased wages.”

In correlation to the median salary at MSU, Romero said different programs can have an effect on the overall compensation for employees.

“Another point for consideration is the type of program where these faculty work. Programs in business and engineering tend to have higher paying salaries that can in fact skew the average,” Romero said.

Along with having the lowest median salary, there was a wage gap between genders on campus. More particularly, it was evident that at each of the universities, men make much more than women despite there being a higher amount of female employees.

Cecilia Jacobs, interim assistant vice president of marketing and communications at Tarleton, said, “Tarleton reviews compensation annually by race, salary grade, job family and seniority. We follow all state and federal laws, along with Texas A&M University System guidelines, regarding compensation and hiring to provide equal opportunity for all employees.”

Despite her statement, the data shows that out of the 1,267 employees at Tarleton 727 of them are women and yet the female median salary is almost $15,000 less than that of the median male salary. This seems to be a recurring pattern with each of the other schools.

MEDIAN SALARY FOR SCHOOLS IN LONE STAR CONFERENCE: Male vs Female

  • Midwestern State University: male $57,002 | female $40,223
  • Tarleton State University: male $60,000 | female $45,609
  • Texas A&M Commerce: male $61,240 | female $46,826
  • Texas A&M Kingsville: male $60,495 | female $43,860
  • UT Permian Basin: male $56,652 | female $45,800
  • West Texas A&M: male $62,791 | female$43,244

In spite of the data shown, Romero said, “Wage gaps can exist due to a number of reasons. The fact you have fewer men can be one indicator why men are paid more. Supply and demand can be key in what drives the salary market. It is also known that men usually make higher salaries than women.”

Although the data shows a significant wage gap, Fisher said salaries are not based upon gender or ethnicity.

“Salary surveys and comparison rankings are used to determine market equity based on peer institutions and the local area,” Fisher said.

In 2016, Evergreen Solutions LLC completed a compensation and survey analysis of staff positions at MSU.

Fisher continued and said, “This study was conducted to ensure that the staff position titles accurately reflect responsibilities and salary ranges are equitable and competitive within out employment markets.”

The results from the survey are listed under Compensation and Classification Study on the Human Resources website.

When considering the public market, the Evergreen Solutions LLC outreach summary said, “MSU is approximately 6.4 percent below the market minimum and is about 2 percent below the market midpoint.”

Regarding the research done with how employees felt about their jobs here on campus, the survey showed that many of them enjoyed working for Midwestern.

The survey said, “Employees widely cited the work environment, mission, stability and benefits as positive characteristics. They were committed to serving students, appreciated the opportunity to grow and develop, and enjoyed the workplace environment and their co-workers.

Along with the positive aspects of their job, employees also expressed what concerns they had about working on campus.

The survey continued and said, “Employees cited instances of different level positions which require highly similar work having inequitable pay differences relative to work performed. [Additionally] employees generally cited that pay is better at other educational institutions.”

As a result, Evergreen Solutions proposed a pay plan that increased the minimum, midpoint, and maximum salary range for employees. It also provided two implementation options for their proposition.

“All employee salaries are brought to the minimum of their proposed salary range. If the employee’s current salary exceeds the proposed minimum, no adjustment is made. First year maximum to be 10 percent or $3,600, whichever is more for those below minimum. If [an] adjustment exceeds this amount, a second adjustment will be made in year two of implementation,” the Evergreen study recommended.

The second option capped the class parity at a midpoint.

The Evergreen study said, “Years of service in [the] current position gives credit for class parity up to 30 years to reach the maximum of the pay range. However, a maximum of midpoint (or 15 years) of class parity credit will be given. The plan is adjustments for class parity will be made in years two through four.”

Since the survey was done in 2016, Midwestern median salary overall has increased to almost $48,000. For women, the median salary has increased to about $42,000 and for men it has decreased to about $54,000. Based upon the data, Midwestern has began to make a change in the future for equal salary pay for their employees.

“Salary is just one piece of the total compensation package at MSU. Our additional benefits add more value such at retirement, insurance, paid leave, and educational assistance,” Fisher said.

READ MORE ABOUT FACULTY AND STAFF SALARIES AT MSU.

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The Student News Site of Midwestern State University
Median faculty/staff salaries lowest of Texas schools in LSC