Faculty members at the University of Washington voted down a controversial plan to address salary compression, a common term for when junior faculty members make close to or more than what senior professors are paid due to changes in the market between points of hire. About 58 percent of eligible, full-time faculty members at Washington’s Seattle, Tacoma and Bothell campuses participated in the online vote; the tally was 1,328 for the plan and 1,356 against, with 58 abstentions. The initiative, which included a peer-approval mechanism for tiered and retention raises, needed a two-thirds majority of affirmative votes from those casting ballots to pass.
Gautham P. Reddy, a professor of radiology at Seattle and a member of the Washington Faculty Senate’s executive committee, said he agreed with the outcome. While faculty members in some schools and colleges would benefit from a new faculty salary policy, he said, “the proposal would not have worked well for some of our academic units, including the medical school, some of our other professional schools and our fast-growing campuses in Bothell and Tacoma.” The Senate is expected to continue working on salary compression issues next year.
Gail Stygall, a professor of English at the Seattle campus who supported the plan, said Washington knows salary compression is a serious concern, and that she hoped a feasible plan to address it would soon emerge. In the meantime, she said, “We’ll struggle onward.”
Linda P. B. Katehi, who was suspended as chancellor of the University of California, Davis, in April, spent more than $17,000 to send aides to Switzerland, Texas and Maryland to learn more about social media, The Sacramento Bee reported. The trips were part of an effort by Katehi to improve the university's image. The trip to Switzerland was prompted by a visit Katehi made there to Nestlé's Digital Acceleration Lab, which monitors all forms of media for the company. Katehi's spokesman said that the trip was part of an important effort to see if similar programs could work for Davis.
Earl H. Potter III, president of St. Cloud State University, died Monday night as a result of injuries in a car crash. He was driving to Minneapolis-St. Paul for a meeting with the university's foundation board chair. A biography on the university's website notes many accomplishments since he became president there in 2007.
A University of Alabama student who recently studied abroad has the Zika virus, AL.com reported. Officials said they could not provide details on the student but noted that most people with the virus recover quickly. The university has notified all students who recently returned from Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, and recommended testing for any experiencing symptoms. The virus has been linked to birth defects, and so exposure is considered particularly dangerous to women who are or plan to become pregnant.