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Tech faculty waiting to receive raise behind LSU and Southern universities

October 10, 2013

 

Tech president Les Guice explains the difficulties Louisiana’s education system faces–Photo by Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay

Tech president Les Guice explains the difficulties Louisiana’s education system faces–Photo by Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay

 

CODY SEXTON

Staff Reporter

 

 

The Southern and Louisiana State University systems announced their faculties and staff will be receiving up to a four percent increase in pay.

 

They were able to provide this after the state Legislature provided the Southern universities with funding and LSU raised its tuition.

 

With these school systems providing raises, some Tech faculty members are wondering if there will be a pay increase for them on the horizon.

 

Kevin Cuccia, the engineering and science librarian at Tech, said he is hopeful in spite of not receiving any pay increases in six years.

 

“I try to remain optimistic,” Cuccia said. “However, it’s disheartening to see a top school not reflect in its staff’s salary.”

 

Tech is a top tier, selective admissions school, and Cuccia is concerned lack of funding may be keeping students from getting the most of their education while here.

 

“Are students getting the full benefit as they were 10 years ago?” he said.

 

Since 2008, Gov. Bobby Jindal has cut $700 million in state spending on secondary education and Cuccia said he is concerned about how higher education is suffering.

 

“People are not as concerned with higher education and we are less prepared,” he said.

 

Another concern for the university is losing faculty and the extra work being given to some others with no extra pay.

 

Barry Morales, director of student life, said being understaffed is a situation the entire university is feeling.

 

“The staffing situation is an unfortunate consequence of continued budget cuts,” he said. “I know our administration is concerned about losing quality faculty and staff to our neighboring states because of the lack of funding for badly needed raises.”

 

Morlales said he was concerned about the long-term effects of being understaffed.

 

“From a psychological perspective, fatigue, frustration, stress, and strain could become concerns which will have to be addressed,” he said. “We are fortunate to have a loyal base at Tech, which is imperative to a successful organization.”

 

Les Guice, Tech’s new president, said he is aware of the need for raises and is trying to help the staff in other ways until that is possible.

 

“It is important to find ways to recognize the faculty for all they do,” Guice said. “Even the little things can help make a difference.”

 

One way of helping the staff was paying for their parking pass for the year.

 

Guice said he has been working since before his presidency with the board leaders to increase staff’s pay.

 

“We’ve been meeting to recognize and communicate the importance,” he said.

 

Guice said one thing that needs to happen to better the chances of a faculty pay increase is the number of students who enroll at Tech.

 

“This year we had a 20 percent increase in freshman enrollment” he said. “Now we can focus on producing more graduates to meet community needs.”

 

Many faculty and staff members have said they have confidence in Guice’s plans concerning pay.

 

“I believe Dr. Guice has the skills and training to do it,” Cuccia said. “I’m hopeful to see his results.”

 

 

Email comments to cls068@latech.edu.

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