Fellow Faculty and Staff:
Across our efforts, WKU must strategically invest scarce resources in those areas of the University likely to generate positive returns. We will use those dollars to encourage, incentivize, and reward performance and growth. We will focus our spending on recruiting more qualified students, engaging them more deeply, and helping them persist. We also must concentrate our investments in those programs that create student interest, generate national prestige, attract external funding, and are core to our mission.
You can see examples of this in our marketing work, program evaluation, admissions and recruitment activities, and performance raises. First, in our marketing efforts, every dollar we spend will enhance and elevate the overall WKU brand, instead of having multiple sub-brands that don’t work together to benefit the whole. Second, during the comprehensive academic program evaluation, we will examine areas where we’re successful, where there are opportunities for growth, where we need to transform, and where we might reconsider our offerings. Third, in our admissions and recruitment activities, we will admit students who have a reasonable chance of success and target resources toward those who will persist with a little extra attention.
The last example of how we’re doing this work is our performance-based salary rewards. Last fall, I announced the creation of a 4% raise pool that would be 100% merit-based. After constructive discussion with the campus community and some compromise, we arrived at a 2% across-the-board raise for eligible employees hired on or before July 1, 2018, and a 2% pool for merit, based upon individual performance. The split allocation allows us to provide a reasonable adjustment for all employees and, at the same time, to create opportunities for campus leaders to reward those who have been highly productive. The Divisions of Academic Affairs and Finance and Administration have worked collaboratively with deans, directors, and department chairs to develop salary increase guidelines for use by unit leaders. This information will be provided during the first week of October, and faculty and staff will be notified by early December of their approved salary increase, which will be effective January 1, 2019.
Together, we will continue our push to increase student enrollment, persistence and graduation; attract additional resources to support inquiry; retain our talented faculty and staff; and elevate our reputation as a student-centered, applied research university.
Thank you for your continued hard work and dedication to WKU.
Timothy C. Caboni