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Increases in inflation, along with University and state budget pressures, could soon lead to declines in the real value of professors' incomes, according to a recent Faculty Senate report. Released Friday and published in yesterday's Almanac, the report by the Senate's Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty also calls attention to discrepancies between higher incomes of faculty recruited away from other schools and the lower incomes of professors who have spent most of their academic careers at the University. Committee Chairperson Henry Teune, a Political Science professor, said yesterday the report offers a starting point for issues the committee will continue to examine over the next year. Teune said faculty have become increasingly concerned by growing ranks of students and added teaching, research and service duties in a period when faculty size has remained constant. He cited a wide range of budget forces leading up to worries about the future of faculty salaries, including the federal government forcing states to pay for welfare programs, residents who no longer want to pay additional taxes for state subsidies to universities, and students and parents requesting more health, safety and administrative services. Teune also said he is concerned about the development of a "two-tier salary system" at the University, where professors recruited from other schools receive more money and benefits than those who follow the University tenure track and choose to remain here afterward. "We don't want to have a two-tier faculty," he said. "Then there's no pretense of a community." Differences in faculty incomes arise when the University has to bid against other schools to bring high-level professors here. Bello, who is on Teune's committee, said the system may reward those who "always have one foot out the door," while penalizing professors who remain loyal to the University or need to remain in the area. Many faculty argue enticements are necessary to attract the best possible faculty and remain competitive in the recruiting market. Rather than eliminating the bonuses, they recommend salary raises for long-time faculty whose salaries fall behind. On the positive side, the report says statistical studies reveal no difference between the incomes of male and female professors, although it adds that Provost Michael Aiken is investigating "the possibility of some instances of discrimination based on gender." Faculty will continue to discuss the cloudy income outlook at their annual plenary session next Wednesday, where debate is expected to split between concerns that faculty budgets were slighted by administration growth in the last decade, and fears that faculty incomes may be compromised in the next decade.

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