University president is an ‘optimist’ for staff raises; final student census not complete

1
397

(THE PICKET) – All regular faculty, staff employees and all adjunct faculty could get a salary hike effect January 2016: if Shepherd University can retain 2 percent more students from fall to spring, according to Sylvia Manning, Shepherd University interim president.

“As of today, total enrollment is down about 200 students from this point last year, due to a decline in continuing students,” Manning said. “That outcome does not give us the funds for salary raises.”

In an email to staff on Wednesday, Manning said that due to financial uncertainties in the budget, salary raises would be made when (the university) knew fall 2015 enrollment numbers.

“I’m an optimist,” Manning said in an email. “Let’s hope for the best- or even better.”

Final student census will be completed in October.

“In reference to enrollment figures, official numbers will be released in two weeks,” said Valerie Owens, executive director of university communications.

Manning said that enrollment has been falling for the past several years.

“To improve the budget picture we need to grow enrollment,” Manning said. “Everyone on campus has the ability to help retain students, to make Shepherd more and more a place where people want to come and want to stay. “

The last raise for university staff was 1.5% in July 2014, according to Owens.

Manning said it is important to her that the staff and faculty see raises as a way to keep up morale, reward good work and stay competitive.

“Staff (using the term to include faculty as well) here work very hard and they do a good job,” Manning said in an email. “Salaries are depressed and that is making us less competitive in the hiring market.”

Manning alluded to new retention efforts, but did not elaborate in her email.

“(Shepherd University) is such a good school in so many ways that it is surprising that our retention is not higher; that’s why I think it can easily become higher if we tend to a few things- which we are now doing,” Manning said.

Todd Bowman is a staff writer for The Picket. He can be reached by email at tbowma04@rams.shepherd.edu or on Twitter @todd_bowman87.