Eligible UofL employees will receive a 1% salary bump effective March 1, Interim President Lori Gonzalez announced at the Jan. 20 University of Louisville Board of Trustees meeting.
The board voiced its support for the decision, which fulfilled a commitment UofL administration made last summer. At that time the board approved a plan to provide 1% raises, with an additional 1% later in the year based on the university meeting certain financial performance metrics.
Eligibility criteria similar to that for the August 2021 increase will be used for the March 2022 raise. Departmental LFOs will receive eligibility guidelines and instructions in the next 7 to 10 days.
The measure was included in the financial update presented by Dan Durbin, executive vice president for finance and administration/CFO, at the Board of Trustees meeting. Also noted in Durbin’s financial update is the increase of employee benefits due to the university reinstating the full 7.5% 403b contribution in fiscal year 2022. The 2019-2022 Strategic Plan [PDF] identified fair and equitable compensation for faculty and staff as a critical aspect of UofL’s commitment to being a great place to learn, to work and in which to invest.
“Our employees are our most valuable resource,” Durbin said. “We will remain committed to keeping wages up and benefits competitive this year and in years to come.”
Durbin also reported the university’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its financial base. Total revenue increased from $455.3 million in fiscal year 2021 to $560.8 million in fiscal year 2022, a 23.2% jump, with increases noted in all the university’s revenue streams.
Gonzalez added that the UofL Foundation endowment is up 5.5% and currently sits at $890 million. University Advancement is on track to meet projected philanthropy goals based on fiscal year 2022 second quarter figures.
Employee value was also highlighted in the report delivered to the board by Tom Miller, CEO of University of Louisville Health. According to Miller, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wear on the doctors, nurses and the entire UofL Health staff. The number of COVID-19 patients in UofL Health facilities is up from December, and some patients are being held in emergency rooms due to lack of available beds. Miller praised all in the organization for their tireless dedication to the health of our community and commitment to the UofL Health “never say no to treatment” policy.
“The strength of our organization is the employees,” said Miller. “Our caregivers are overwhelmed, but I believe there is hope that we will see a decline (in COVID-19 cases) soon.”
Despite such challenges as nursing turnover and the need for more single room capacities, Miller noted that quality scores have improved in every area. Further, about 140 new doctors were recruited over the past year, revenues were up 14%, and there have been no increases in charges to patients for services.
• Trustees viewed the new Here & Beyond anthem video, which started broadcasting nationwide the weekend of Jan. 15. Here & Beyond is the university’s new branding campaign and illustrates how UofL unleashes students’ potential to fuel their success while elevating society through our research and innovation. Watch the video and learn more about Here & Beyond here.
• Efforts to search for a new university president and new athletic director will begin soon. Board Chair Mary Nixon and Gonzalez said the processes and timelines for both searches are to be determined. However, each will entail submitting requests for proposals to consultants who will assist with the searches. (Each search will use its own consultant.) Both positions will be advertised, and input will be solicited from the university community throughout both search processes.
Gonzalez added that the search for the university’s new vice president for diversity and equity is running smoothly. She hopes to introduce the new vice president by the next Board of Trustees meeting.
• The board passed two motions to revise funding for renovations to the Angel’s Envy Club at Cardinal Stadium and improve the stadium’s WiFi connection. The renovations and the WiFi improvements are expected to be complete in time for the 2022-2023 football season. The projects also were approved Friday morning by the UofL Athletic Association board.
• About two dozen students, faculty, staff and community members presented concerns about the university’s decision to maintain in-person classes and in-person work policies, which were in place for the fall 2021 semester. Nixon said that based on the university’s high vaccination rate, social distancing protocols as well as information and guidance provided by health experts and in keeping with actions taken from other universities, UofL will maintain its current position. Nixon added that, as has always been the case, flexibility is granted to faculty, staff and students who experience difficulties with COVID-19.