Professors consider donating bonuses

Jamie Shearer

Success pool yields checks worth $2,855

Kent State’s faculty union is encouraging professors who receive success pool bonuses to consider donating to student scholarships or local charities.

“Given that these bonuses are higher than we had imagined and that many among our students and in our communities are struggling, the Association encourages you to consider giving back,” union president Kara Robinson wrote in an e-mail to faculty yesterday.

The finalized amount of the faculty bonuses is higher than the administration and the American Association of University Professors expected.

The bonuses – $2,855 to be distributed to 819 tenured and tenure-track faculty members – are the result of meeting and exceeding research, fundraising and retention goals in the collective bargaining agreement.

Some faculty members are already considering making donations.

Frank Ryan, associate professor of philosophy, said he would be interested in donating his bonus to make a philosophy scholarship for students.

Renee Johnson, assistant professor of political science, said she’d like to donate a portion of her bonus to a charity in Northeast Ohio.

And history professor John Jameson said he makes a practice of using unexpected bonuses to give back to the students.

“I’ve done that before,” he said. “(Unexpected bonuses) don’t come along very often, but when they do, I put it into scholarships.”

Though some faculty members don’t necessarily see the success pool as an incentive to be better teachers, they do appreciate the recognition.

“It is nice to be acknowledged for contributions you make, and so the bonus is nice in that regard,” Jameson said.

Provost Robert Frank said he’s pleased the AAUP urged faculty to donate the money for scholarships, especially the Last Dollar Scholarship Fund that helps students in need. The university hopes to mail the bonus checks by Dec. 1.

“We had lower targets, but we weren’t so far off that we didn’t have the money,” Frank said. “The money’s all there.”

Contact academic affairs reporter Jamie Shearer at [email protected].