Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Big Ben in London is just one of the many sites on the study abroad trip Empireland.
Column: Empireland and the joys of studying abroad
By Carly Gist, Staff Reporter • June 17, 2024

From Ireland to Japan, Southern Illinois University’s Study Abroad Program is offering several global seminars this summer. One program, however,...

Kaneesha Mallory, 34, looks out the window of her apartment with her four year old daughter Bre’Chelle April 19, 2024 at Loarn L. Shuemaker Jr Building in Cairo, Illinois. Mallory has lived in Cairo nearly her entire life and returned back in 2002 after moving away with her family in 1998.
Illinois made a bold promise to end poverty. In Alexander County, it’s hard to tell.
By Lylee Gibbs, Jamilah Lewis, Molly Parker, and Julia RendlemanJune 11, 2024

This story, produced in partnership with Capitol News Illinois, was supported by grant funding from the Pulitzer Center. Pink and purple toys...

Fuel your ambition: Stryke connects students and professionals in a new way to network
Fuel your ambition: Stryke connects students and professionals in a new way to network
By Carly Gist, Staff Reporter • June 9, 2024

A recent Southern Illinois University graduate has created an app in hopes of strengthening professional networking relationships. Stryke, a...

Faculty leadership hopeful about new compensation study


SIU faculty leadership representatives are reacting positively to Chancellor Austin A. Lane’s announcement of the launch of Compensation 2030.

Sajal Lahiri, Professor of Economics at SIU said, “I came to SIUC in 2002, and this is possibly the first time that a chancellor [at SIU] Is even discussing staff salary,” he said. “In the past, nothing used to be set aside for salary increases during the initial budgeting process. This chancellor has been setting aside some funds [2 percent in some years] for pay increases during initial budgeting.” 

Faculty Senator and Faculty Association (FA) representative Rachel Whaley, who is also an Associate Professor in the School of Anthropology, Political Science, and Sociology at SIU said she knew an announcement concerning the study was coming.


“I felt a little confused by the connection of the study to Imagine 2030 because the study is to be done within the year, but, after reviewing the Imagine 2030 plan, I see several objectives that connect to properly compensating graduate students, staff, and faculty,” she said. 

Whaley was involved in the preliminary phase of this study that began Fall of 2022. 

“By the time I joined [the Faculty Senate], the budget committee was just beginning to work on an internal faculty compression analysis,” she said. “While our internal study in 2022-23 was very informative, we lacked sufficient data to complete the project.”

In late Fall of 2023, the Request for Proposals Committee, made up of representatives of most constituencies and the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, began considering vendor bids for the study announced in Chancellor Lane’s email.

“We read, reviewed, discussed, and then scored the proposals. By January, we selected CBIZ,” Whaley said. 

CBIZ is a consulting company with experience in higher education compensation projects and studies. They will perform a more comprehensive analysis that will involve comparisons to other jobs in R1 and R2 institutions.

SIU is an aspiring Carnegie R1 university. One of many ways to achieve this status is admitting and funding excellent graduate students. A part of reaching and maintaining R1 status involves offering market competitive salaries to faculty for recruitment and retainment. 


“I am now a member of the steering committee that will meet periodically with CBIZ to hear about progress, and I hope we will be able to offer our assessment and recommendations,” Whaley said. 

Lahiri has led the FA team for the last two collective bargaining agreements. It is here that faculty pay increase is decided by negotiations between SIU management and the FA. 

While Lahiri does not hold an office bearer title for the FA currently, he represented the association at the working party for the selection of CBIZ per the FA President’s request. He and Whaley will be in contact with the FA executive committee to ensure the association’s interests are properly addressed. 

Whaley hopes that CBIZ will reveal finalized results as they are completed so information can be shared and acted upon in a timely manner.

“Faculty should be informed of any formulas or models used, the number of faculty who are compressed, the extent to which they are compressed internally, the difference between our new hire salary offers and other universities’ market rates, and what it would take to uncompress salaries and bring them up to market level for all faculty,” she said. “I believe CBIZ said they were going to use national data for this but if this plan changes and they use different data for market rates, faculty should be told which peer institutions are being used for comparison purposes.” 

Lahiri said, “Everyone needs to know how much it would cost to address the issues in a manner that is fair to everyone. The issues facing our constituency are very different from those of the others. It will be our job to make sure that our concerns are not crowded out by the concerns of others.”

He does not want to bring in division between the different constituents and thinks they should be able to work cooperatively towards a beneficial outcome. 

At the end of the day, the Compensation 2030 announcement is a call to action.

Lane wrote in his email, “CBIZ will begin evaluating faculty and graduate salary data immediately, and staff will soon be asked to complete new job analysis questionnaires to ensure employees are properly classified and grouped together before the analysis begins.” 

Whaley said the steering committee discussed this topic during their meeting with CBIZ.

“We wanted to alert the community to the study and encourage involvement, especially among staff who will complete surveys that will assist in the project related to their career architecture and compensation,” she said. “Job descriptions will be revised, career ladders identified, and an equity study for salary will be conducted.” 

As discussed at a meeting earlier this spring between committee members and CBIZ, the project will begin with the faculty study and completion is expected within 4-6 months. The graduate assistant and staff studies are expected to take longer, with the entire study characterized as a 1-year project. 

Lane wrote that by Fall of 2025 new compensation policies and guidelines should be in place, providing consistency in compensation and pay scales that align with the larger job market. Updates will be made available on the Human Resources website and information regarding the study is to be shared through SIU Today.


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Daily Egyptian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *