Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:
We are extremely fortunate at the University of Memphis to have dedicated faculty and staff members who have been vigilant in performing their roles, even during these times of dire budget adjustments. The issue of salaries for our employees is very important, and I want to take this opportunity to reiterate that we have been working tirelessly to address this matter.
In his recent budget presentation, Governor Haslam proposed a salary increase of 1.6 percent for all employees, the first in four years. We are appreciative of this essential first step. We know this situation is not ideal, and we remain hopeful that these raises will occur. When we know what appropriations the Legislature will approve for higher education and what our tuition revenues will be, we will be in a better position to know the entire budget picture.
In the meantime and as I have done for the last several years, I will continue to advocate to the Governor, the Tennessee State Legislature, and the Tennessee Board of Regents the importance of salary increases for all of our employees. We have met with representatives of the Faculty Senate, the Staff Senate, and the Student Government Association. We have also offered to meet with campus representatives working on these issues to exchange information about the work we are all doing on this critical issue.
I am pleased that we have been able to avoid wholesale layoffs during these difficult economic times, and this continues to be our plan. Salary increases remain our top priority while continuing to keep people employed.
As I communicated to you in a recent email, we face another two percent cut in our budget this year. I have scheduled two budget forums to discuss the budget and answer any questions you may have. These meetings will be held April 25 at 2 p.m. in Room 125 of the Fogelman College of Business and Economics and April 26 at 9 a.m. in the University Center, Memphis Room.
Thank you for your dedicated work on behalf of our students as we struggle with budget issues again this year.
Shirley C. Raines, President