University, union work on finalizing faculty bonuses

Jamie Shearer

Bonus amount not yet official

Tenure-track faculty members are getting closer to receiving their success pool bonuses.

The success pool is an incentive in the tenure-track Collective Bargaining Agreement for faculty to work on improving the university’s research, fundraising and retention numbers.

“Our job . is to highlight what makes universities succeed,” Provost Robert Frank said, adding that focusing on these three areas will further the university.

Frank approximates 820 tenure-track faculty will receive bonuses, but the exact amount of the bonuses won’t be official until the administration and the union determine the number of faculty.

When suggested a ballpark figure between $2,300-2,500, Frank said, “We were thinking it might be slightly higher than that.”

Tim Gallagher, a tenured sociology associate professor, said he likes the idea of a success pool to encourage faculty to do things that are a priority for the administration and the university.

“The success pool has made me aware of how important students are,” he said, adding that the faculty knows students are important, but the success pool emphasizes the university’s importance to attract students.

The success pool was added to the 2008 CBA before the recession. In light of the recession, Frank wasn’t expecting the success pool to be nearly as successful as it was.

“We’ve been worried about our three areas for different reasons,” he said.

Frank said he was worried about retention because if students can’t afford tuition, they won’t come back to school; fundraising because if people don’t have money to give, they can’t contribute to Kent State; and research because it’s so competitive.

But the university pulled it off with significant increases in all three areas: approximately a 6 percent retention increase, $13.5 million fundraising increase and almost an $11 million funded research increase.

“It could’ve been very different outcomes on all three of these,” Frank said.

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