Shepherd University incoming President Mary J.C. Hendrix addressed faculty in an open letter to faculty and staff after The Picket published an anonymous letter from an untenured faculty member addressing salary and raise concerns.
Dear Faculty of Shepherd University:
I am writing to convey my sincere enthusiasm for the opportunity to work with you and address the challenging issues that have the potential to change the trajectory of Shepherd University and the future of our ability to responsibly train the next generation. The most important and immediate challenge is the salary crisis for all of our faculty and staff. I understand that the Board of Governors and Interim President Sylvia Manning have just completed a focused and serious discussion of the institutional budget and the critical need to address employee’s salaries, and a modest salary increase has been approved. This commitment from the Board signals a move in the right direction and a precedent for progress that will require continuing vigilance on our collective part.
I appreciate the underlying sentiment of the “Letter from an Untenured Faculty Member”. As I work with Dr. Manning during the next twelve weeks to prepare for my arrival as the next president of the university, I will review additional statistics to help us plan to address these salary concerns and the cost of living issues facing our workforce.
I have noted that enhancement of compensation has been an important component of the Strategic Plan since 2008, and the new Currents Strategic Plan reemphasized this priority. We must find an effective strategy for continuing to make improvements.
In closing, I would like all of you to know that I am a firm believer in full transparency and welcome comments from each of you in the form of a congenial discourse, face-to face, without fear of retribution. This is how I would be most comfortable, and I hope you agree that we can make a difference together.
With appreciation and best wishes,
Mary J.C. Hendrix, Ph.D.
Shepherd University President Designate (2/29/16)