Regents committees cover salary changes, line of credit, extension of baseball coaches contract in meeting –

Salary changes, some including increases of over 25%, were approved today at meetings of the Board of Directors’ Committee of Regents, among other measures to be sent to the quarterly meeting.

The session took place before the next Board of Regents meeting on December 10, where the items will be presented for final approval by the full board.

The salary decisions of the finance and budget committee covered hundreds of positions in various areas of the university.

According to personnel regent David Brinkley, who received a raise of $ 25,428, the changes are aimed at restructuring and streamlining departments. Brinkley is the director of educational telecommunications.

“A few [fiscal years] since, [my department] was spending 63% on salary and on top of all our expenses, ”said Brinkley. “In [fiscal year] “22, that number is 50%, so not only have we reduced the amount of our percentage for salary and benefits, we have streamlined the other ways we spend money to allow that to happen. “

Andrea Sherrill, acting director of human resources, said in an email that salary decisions were made on the basis of “consultation between the division head and human resources”.

Each change is categorized based on different justifications, including reclassification, reorganization and transfer. These positions consist of employees whose “job title, salary level and / or salary are modified following a significant increase in tasks / responsibilities”.

“[In these categories,] a new job description was developed resulting in changes in the individual’s primary functions and the number of direct reports which necessitated a change in salary, ”said Sherrill. “Division heads have always had the power to reorganize structures and reclassify positions according to the changing needs and objectives of their respective divisions. Unless a change was identified as a critical need for the University, existing divisional funding was used to cover salary increases.

The following reclassified employees saw their wages increase by 15% or more:

In the Finance and Budget Committee package, many salary changes have a date in 2021, many of which have already passed, in the “Effective date” column of the table showing the changes. All reclassification salary changes are retroactive.

These changes come after 125 staff and faculty left the university in May, according to President Timothy Caboni.

“For those who don’t like it: too bad,” Carboni said. ” It’s the future. We’re going to be nimble, we’re going to be quick, we’re going to be innovative and we’re going to do things that are in the best interests of the institution, not just doing what we’ve always done before. “

Individual compensation changes aim to better match market prices for positions at similar universities and reflect changes in responsibilities that have occurred over the past year.

WKU announced on October 13 that all faculty and staff hired on or before August 1 will receive a 1.5% salary increase in early 2022.

The finance and budget committee made an item to renew a $ 10 million unsecured line of credit for the university as well as salary and staff changes, both of which were passed unanimously.

WKU agreed to a line of credit with Truist Bank in 2020 as a “financially prudent” measure to ensure the university has short-term funding available, said Susan Howarth, executive vice president for strategy, operations and finances.

This is the second year that WKU has applied for a line of credit from Truist, formerly known as BB&T. Last year’s line of credit was never used, even adjusting to pandemic changes, and Howarth does not anticipate having to use it this year.

Howarth said financial standards generally recommend 110 days of cash on hand, while the university has around 190 days, which “bodes well for the university.”

Indudeep Chhachhi, director of the department and professor of finance, spoke with the Herald ahead of the meeting to explain what lines of credit mean for an institution’s financial situation.

“[Lines of credit] are, in fact, commitments that have been made by a bank that they are willing to lend you x number of dollars anytime you want, ”Chhachhi said.

The deal is not guaranteed, which means that WKU did not offer the bank a guarantee; However, even if WKU does not ask for money, there are still costs associated with reserving funds.

“The bank is basically saying ‘look, you want me to have a million dollars at your disposal anytime in the next couple of years, you’re going to have to pay me something to keep this money available to be loaned out,’ he said. said Chhachhi.

Chhachhi said lines of credit in recent years are not necessarily a sign of a precarious financial future, but he still has questions about the university’s need.

“The question I would ask myself as a financier is very simply, why? Said Chhacchi. “What is the anticipated need? What kinds of things does the university anticipate or worry about? “

Haworth said she did not expect any disaster that would require the use of the line, but serves as a “safety net”.

The Academic Affairs Committee has proposed emeritus appointments for 57 professors in the five university colleges. The motion received full committee approval. Rector Robert Fischer gave a presentation on the Department of Academic Affairs and its plan for the future.

“Some of the important areas where they move the university forward are things like creating high quality programs, making sure that we have the best possible programs for students as well as associates with those programs making sure that that they have learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom that have a high impact, ”said Fischer.

He also spoke about accreditation and the goals of the department.

The student affairs committee had no action to take to present at the meeting, but had a presentation on Greek life at the university by Ethan Logan, vice president of enrollment and student experience. He was joined by four student leaders from Greek Life for the presentation.

The Executive Committee presented an action point at the meeting focused on extending the contract of head baseball coach John Pawlowski. The amendment to the contract extends his stay at the university until 2025.

The chairman of the board, Phillip Bale, recalled the presidential assessment.

“I encouraged everyone to complete the President’s Assessment,” Bale said. constructive criticism or ideas.

Bale also said the Regents had received the spring start dates which had been changed so that they “did not conflict with the Kentucky Derby.”

At the end of the meeting, Bale gave the floor to Caboni who commented on the ongoing realignment of the conference within Conference-USA.

“The conference chairs have worked hard with their colleagues to talk about the future of Conference-USA,” Caboni said.

Editor-in-Chief Lily Burris can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @lily_burris.

Content Manager Michael J. Collins can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @mjcollinsnews.

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