Budget recommendations to be presented to Board of Regents will include tiered salary reductions, Caboni says

President Timothy Caboni talks to the College Heights Herald editorial board to  discuss the upcoming year on Friday, Aug. 24. 

Gabrielle Bunton

After both the staff and faculty senates voted to create an alternate salary reduction strategy to address the university’s budget deficit amid the coronavirus pandemic, WKU President Timothy Caboni announced a revised budget plan with tiered salary reductions.

The plan will be voted on by the Board of Regents in June.

The original plan sent to faculty and staff on May 8 involved pay cuts. Caboni removed the recommendation for a tiered salary reduction from consideration at the Board of Regents meeting on May 15

He sent this announcement via email to Faculty and Staff as well as the revised recommendation for the BEC, which incorporated changes from both the Faculty and Staff Senates discussed over the past week. 

During the past week, campus leadership, along with leadership from both the Faculty and Staff Senate worked to make a plan that promotes “shared sacrifice” while addressing the concerns voiced last week.

According to Caboni’s email, the Staff Senate voted Wednesday to support an altered salary reduction strategy, while the Faculty Senate Executive and Finance and Budget committees voted Thursday to support the same revised strategy. 

The revised version, supported by both governance organizations, will be included in the final budget recommendations the Board of Regents will consider in June. 

The revised recommendation, which achieves approximately $2.4 million in savings reads as follows:

  • Reduction tiers will be effective for the following salary brackets:

    • $50,000 – $100,000

    • $100,000 – $148,000

    • $148,000 and above

  • Rather than flat percentage reductions per tier, percentages will incrementally increase as total salary increases. This approach will prevent salary inversion while dispersing reductions in an equitable way.

  • For salaries $50,000 – $100,00

    • No reduction at $50,000

    • For every $12,500 over $50,000, a 1% reduction is applied

  • For salaries  $100,000 – $148,000

    • Reduction percentage begins at 4%

    • For every $8,000 an additional 1% is applied

  • For salaries over $148,000, a reduction of 10% is applied

During the next few weeks WKU will create a website where faculty and staff will be able to enter their salary to determine how this will affect them.  Direct communication with each faculty and staff member will take place in June, detailing how this will affect pay individually.