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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Jan. 18, 2008

P&S Council discusses use of remaining salary dollars

by Erin Rosacker

Discussion on how to use the remaining state appropriations for P&S salary market adjustments dominated the Professional and Scientific Council's Jan. 8 meeting.

Last July 1, Iowa State received $1.25 million in special P&S salary funds to address market competitiveness and other issues. Most of it was distributed on July 1 and the process for requesting some of the remaining funds is under way. Approximately $170,000 remains.

However, "through different discussions, there was a suggestion, which I supported, that would take the remaining dollars and use it as seed money to begin to implement some of the changes that we know will be coming out of the compensation review from Towers Perrin," said council president Dan Woodin.

Towers Perrin, a consulting firm hired to examine the P&S compensation structure, is expected to present a report and recommendations by the end of February.

However, Woodin said there were concerns that some units already have made plans to apply for the remaining salary funds.

"The University Planning and Budget Committee recommended to [the executive committee] to submit this motion -- to continue with the way the money was set aside to begin with and not change course," said Kevin Kane, the council's at-large representative on the committee.

Brenda Behling, program manager in the office of the executive vice president and provost, said it was important to address the findings of the compensation study and the problems that it identifies.

She suggested that the money could be used to help with that fix. Behling also indicated that just one unit had made a request for remaining FY08 salary funds.

After considerable discussion, the resolution passed 18-12.

Free access

A resolution on facility access was introduced for a vote in February, stemming from a presentation on a proposed addition and renovation to the State Gym and Beyer Hall recreation facilities. The proposed changes would require employees to pay for access, currently the policy only at the Lied Recreation Center.

The resolution argues that the loss of that free access would be "a reduction in benefits" and requests that staff access to the State Gym and Beyer facilities and services remain free of charge.

"Having the gym within walking distance for a lunch-time run, or whatever, is a huge benefit you don't see everywhere else," Kane said. "It's very unique to a university."

During discussion, representatives bolstered their stance with a wellness proposal, suggesting additional language to link lower employee health costs with participation in wellness and exercise programs.

Craig Chatriand, a residence hall coordinator, and also a graduate student, shared his concern that student fees would be paying for the new facilities and outside users should shoulder some of that cost.

"If people want to use it, there needs to be some type of willingness for support of that," he said.

In other council business:

  • To gain an accurate picture of trends, the compensation and benefits committee introduced a resolution asking Human Resource Services to provide market ratio data recalculations for 2005 and 2006, using the same data methods that were instituted in 2007. The resolution also asked for explanations on why some benchmark classifications -- previously designated for annual review -- were changed in the reports.
  • Representatives unanimously approved a resolution in support of the "Keep Iowa State Beautiful" campaign.
  • Camille Schroeder (program coordinator in engineering academic and student affairs) was voted president-elect. She'll begin in that role in June.


"The University Planning and Budget Committee recommended to [the executive committee] to submit this motion -- to continue with the way the money was set aside to begin with and not change course."

Kevin Kane