An Update

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Follow-up — additional compensation information that was not included in the SSC salary index posted earlier this morning: Stark AAUP received confirmation today that SSC President Para Jones received a $25,000 performance bonus for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, authorized by the SSC Board of Trustees on July 24, 2014.

Click here to access the full salary index.

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15 thoughts on “An Update

  1. Jaime Mole

    Para Jones’ salary is miniscule compared to John O’Donnell’s. That is the comparison you should be making instead trying to vilify her. I have absolutely no issues with her bonus. My question is, did Lada Gibson-Shreve get a bonus? If she did not, that is what you should be fighting for. Her salary is also much smaller than Dorey Diab’s. She should be earning more than he did.

    Faculty suggested and voted not to get raises. I was surprised by that but that is what happened. We failed to utilize shared governance.

  2. Angela

    Relaying facts is not vilifying anyone, nor is that the intent. This is information all faculty and staff should be able to access. It certainly wasn’t communicated in a very transparent way to the faculty or staff that bonuses were given to the President in part for maintaining fiscal stability. The update was posted separately because the $25k bonus report was provided after the other salary and bonus information had already been posted. It is true that Dr. Jones makes less than O’Donnell did, but that is not the issue nor does it seem relevant since he is no longer at the college. The concern is less about sheer dollar amounts than it is about disparities in how different categories/areas are paid and thus valued. To our knowledge, Dr. Gibson-Shreve received no bonus, nor did anyone else – no other bonuses were listed with the salary data provided by HR or listed in the currently available Board minutes. In fact, I absolutely agree and do see it as highly problematic that the Chief Academic Officer is compensated substantially less in an educational institution (see the post “Valuing Academics” https://starkaaup.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/valuing-academics/ as well as the green flyers that circulated on campus).

    I agree on shared governance – we need more of that, more participation in it, and the process needs to be structured in ways more easily accessible for faculty participation as well. It’s difficult to agree that the faculty and staff voted for no raises, though, as if to imply that there were a full menu of choices or options offered. There were not. Most of us are very aware that we’re all contingent employees. Given the context and the limited choices we were offered, many people who voted chose from among what they saw as the least painful option. There really were few paths to indicate we’d like a broader conversation. And this was after campus-wide budget meetings were held to reinforce the idea that SSC employees are relatively overpaid, using a report from an outside consulting company.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to comment. Discourse truly is appreciated.

  3. Thanks so much for responding!

    I concur that comparing our previous president’s salary with that of our current president’s is relatively moot. The current situation – that faculty have been denied salary increases via an opaque process while two very large bonuses (for fiscal responsibility) were provided to our president almost simultaneously – is what is disconcerting. Even more problematic is what appears to be the discounting/devaluation of academics – from the Provost to the part-time faculty pool – in an academic institution.

    As a college, we strive to ensure that our students are provided the very best quality education and support possible. Reflective of our charge, I believe (and have seen, firsthand) that each and every faculty member and student support specialist makes a concerted effort to promote excellence in scholarship, and to prepare our students for whatever path they choose to undertake post-graduation. However, it would be difficult to argue – given the recent tide of non-academic appointments, the above-referenced bonus structure, and the above-listed salary index – that these efforts are regarded as integral to our institutional mission.

    Thanks so much for contributing. It’s so valuable to have frank conversations regarding issues that are of such importance to our college community.

  4. J.M.

    Para Jones’ bonus does not bother me at all, although I understand your concern. She works hard and seems to care. Compared to other college presidents, she can get more. Lada not getting a bonus or a significant pay raise is concerning. No matter how much they receive, it will not alter my preparation for the coming semester. Your salary index is clearly meant to shame our college administrators. I guess faculty should resent them for making six-figure incomes.

    I attended the doom and gloom meetings. What we voted on were all suggestions made by faculty members. Yes, it was a faculty member that suggested that we forfeit the 3.5% pay raise. Nobody in the room argued against that idea.

    We have had very good relationships with our administrators and do not see them as adversaries. Let’s work on improving that relationship and not destroy it. See you tomorrow

    • SlenderMan

      It’s funny you mention shaming. In my experience JM, people who gripe about sharing information are usually trying to hide something.

    • Wether #105

      Anyone remember that old Dilbert cartoon….When did ignorance become a point of view?

      In the wise words of Arnold (2012), “We are scared sheep.” I, as well as the majority of faculty members with whom I’ve spoken, have found Faculty Association to be administrative cheerleaders rather than instructional advocates, so I see no reason we should not have this conversation. The representatives of this organization have acted with the utmost professionalism and deference; therefore, I question why any of us wouldn’t at least attend a meeting to view the mission, hear the vision, and make an informed decision.

      Why waste time learning when ignorance is so instantaneous….? (Waterson)

      Baaaack to work. Have a great semester and see everyone tomorrow.

  5. Angela

    Jaime,

    Please note that we are not suggesting that any person on our campus, including the president, does not work hard or care about what he/she does. That is certainly not anyone’s intention here. We believe every member of the SSC community—administration, staff, full-time faculty, and adjuncts—are here because we are committed to the mission of a community college and to our community college in particular.

    As you stated in your comment, Provost Gibson-Shreve’s comparatively low salary is concerning to us and further illustrates what appears to be a disparity between the academic and operating sides of the college. Like you, Jaime, we are committed members of the SSC community who only want to continue cultivating an institution that supports and celebrates our principles as a vehicle of higher learning. As an organization, we look forward to a productive and open relationship with fellow faculty, staff, and administration at SSC.

    Personally, I’m sorry we did not get a chance to speak directly during today’s meetings. I was hoping to say hello in person. As president of the Stark AAUP advocacy chapter, I always welcome the opportunity to meet a new face. Best wishes on a great semester.

  6. J.M., It is unfortunate that our attempt at transparency and shared understanding of public information resulted in your misconception that it was done with malice. The conclusion is regrettable, but is exactly that – a misconception. It is our belief that every member of our community is valuable and deserves the respect that their dedication and expertise suggests – Dr. Jones is no different, yes, even (as you suggested) considering her six-figure salary.

    That being said, it is of utmost importance to the viability and sustainability of our college, to the maintenance of our institutional relevance to both business AND university stakeholders (in that we are no longer only a technical college serving corporate needs), and to the ability of our students to obtain the quality of education to which they are accustomed, that the faculty and staff who are the “nuts and bolts” of our academic institution are valued not only in statement, but also in substance. As iterated in the above mentioned documents, the substantive valuation of academics and academe is not the current state.

    As I stated, it is regrettable that our sharing of public information resulted in the perception that our actions were malicious – the intent was quite the opposite. Happily, however, we have achieved our goal! It was our desire to begin an open and frank dialogue regarding the difficult topics that many of us are discussing amongst ourselves, often behind closed doors. This type of dialogue and transparency is crucial to building an institution where each member feels connected and valued. We thank you for your contributions to this discussion, and invite you to continue monitoring the blog for discussions to which you would like to add your perspective and voice. Thanks so much!

  7. Tyler

    All of our salaries are public information, just walk into HR and ask for the list, just like one of you did. But what purpose does it serve to post it to the internet? Just transparency? Are you really that concerned about the Provost salary? If you do some research you will find that Dr. Jones salary is right in line with the presidents of other two year schools, even on the low side, so why the bulletin about a bonus? You throw the grenade and then regret our misconception that it appeared to be a grenade?

    Consider that salaries here are calculated using formulas taking into account education and years of experience in the field. Employees who have been here a long time make more as annual raises compound over time. This, more than anything else explains the disparity in regard to the salary of the Provost.

    People who don’t work here may not realize that those salaries are for different amount of contract days. Top administrators work 230 days/yr, Professional 240, Para-professional 250. Instructor salaries that may seem out of line low at first glance make more sense when you realize it is for a 180 day contract. Instructors also have the opportunity to take overload classes which does not show up in the annual salary figure.

    If you want something to talk about, new employees are the ones getting low pay. They come in at the old scale but without the extra bump to cover insurance and STRS.

    • mgretta67

      Tyler,

      Thank you for contributing. As Angela stated previously, it is so important for all of us to understand that while we are sharing public information regarding all SSC faculty and staff (not just Dr. Jones), the overall message is less about specific monetary amounts, and more about the devaluation of the expertise of the individuals who directly serve our students in an academic venue. Sure – there is certainly a metric involved in the calculation of salaries and benefits; however, I submit that the metric itself is inherently flawed. While fundraising, business collaboration, and managerial skills are useful and necessary to our collegiate realm, It is my standpoint that the consideration and valuation of academics (from our Provost, to our department chairs, to our full-time faculty, to our adjunct faculty) and student support specialists have been lost in the deluge of hiring and top-level compensation packages that ultimately speak to the worth placed on specific contributions. Again, no grenades, molotov cocktails, or other incendiary devices intended; rather, we aimed to usher in an informed and civil discussion of issues that we – as citizens of our institution – are oftentimes disinclined to speak of.

      You are one hundred percent correct in stating that new employees are receiving less pay than should be the case – partly due to the flawed metric that I spoke of, above, but also due to in-house inconsistencies. Our academics and student support specialists hired since 2010 have not been privy to the increased salary distribution initiated by our previous administration to adjust for political changes which adversely affected state employees- to cushion the blow of the politically initiated redistribution of benefit packages for public workers. It is striking and unfortunate that the increased distribution was not deemed ideologically necessary to extend to academics and student support specialists (many of whom have terminal degrees, years of experience in their fields, and a cache of knowledge gleaned via research and contributions to their fields) hired during our new administration’s tenure. It IS appalling to see the compensation of many of our colleagues – amounts significantly less than both the national and in-house average level of pay and benefits. Our colleagues and community deserve better than that. Thanks for making that point.

      As I suggested previously, I am thrilled to see that folks are willing to engage in dialogue regarding this issue. While we may not share the same opinions, it is of utmost importance to our college community that we do not remain siloed, and that we become comfortable discussing issues that impact all of us. Without an open an honest venue for dialogue, it can be easy for individuals to feel that their voices are singular- they are not. Thanks again for contributing. I look forward to continuing the discussion.

      m

  8. Tyler

    i would take a bit of work but request hire dates for employees from HR, then compare the salaries of faculty members hired just before, and just after the salary redistribution. Those of us hired just after find ourselves making thousands less than a colleague for the same work. However, we still have to pay the same percentage STRS and medical from that lower salary.

  9. J.M.

    I want names next to each salary. I want to see how much each person in our department makes. There are some that I question, please post names

    • Angela

      We agreed as a chapter not to post the individual names online on the blog, given that the purpose of sharing data was to consider the overall salary structure by division/department/category and the pay disparities at the college. That being said, it is of course public record information. I am more than happy to meet with anyone to examine the full files we have, either in a private conversation or the files are available for review at our chapter meetings too. Or the same data can be requested by anyone from HR as well. Feel free to email me directly if you like. 🙂

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