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April 17, 2015
BY BEATRIZ CALDEZ & MATTHEW JONES
Guilford College is currently addressing a $2 million deficit
for this year and the prospect of an additional $2 miUion deficit
for 201^16. Positions have already been cut, and in the coming
weeks President Jane Fernandes will propose further cuts in order
to balance the budget.
At the same time, another issue has emerged: salary inequity.
Guilford has a weU-documented history of underpaying fiiculty
and staff relative to peer institutions v^e paying adniinistrators’
salaries at or above average.
When it came to light that executive pay rose again last
year, members of the community expressed outrage. Now, the
community is working to figure out how to prevent this from
In 2009, Guilford much more fiscally stable than today.
“At that time, enrollment, donations, giving and alumni
engagement were at an aU-time high,” said Fernandes.
However, it did not last In 2011 and 2012, both federal and
state govenunents reduced aid programs available to students.
This led to a sharp decline in enrollment and revenue.
According to Guilford’s IRS Form 990’s, a tax document all
nonprofits file, revenue from tuition and fm dropped 15 percent
between 2009 - 2010 and 2013 - 2014.
Despite this, the school continued to spend money to create
new programs. It also maintained its staffing levels: Guilford
employed the equivalent of398 full-time employees in 2014, only
five fewer than in 2009.
When Fernandes was hired in spring 2014, she, like the rest of
the school, did not realize how bad the budget situation would
“I remember back in April last year, I was told that we could
expect a deficit of $235,000,” said Fernandes. “I lost sleep over
that Then as the months passed from April to when I started m
July to the board meeting in October, the (projected) deficit went
from $235,000 to $2 million.”
Guilford’s History of Inequity
During this period of economic instability, feculty and staff
salaries remained unchanged. When adjusted for inflation, the
average salary for full professors dropped $3,941 between 2009 -
2010 and 2013 - 2014. The average salary for associate professors.
Volume 101 1 Issue 20
ADMINISTRATIVE SALARIES MUST BE
Employees of 2013 Salary
CUT YOUR STLARn;*
fii \ * g
As tax forms have become public, community members' anger has grown over bonuses received by top administrators while in crisis.
assistant'professors and instructors lagged as well, according to
the Chronicle of Higher EducatiotL
Additionally, fiiculty salaries lagged relative to institutional
peers such as Roanoke College in Virginia and Carthage Coll^
in V^sconsin. Among these schools, Guilford ranked last in the
2014 - 2015 American Association of Univetsity Professionals
feculty salary survey. Guilford paid its fiiculty below the peer
group median for all ranks: full professors alone were $14,800
Salaries for all feculty and staff ranks were well below the
average for baccalaureate institutions nationwide.
The same has not been true for the highest levels of Guilford’s
“If you’re just looking at comparisons, it’s an odd sort of
structure in that you have some highly compensated presidents
and VPs compared to very lov%^ compensated feculty,” said Julie
Winterich, associate profesor of sociology and anthropology and
a member of the Salary Equity Group, a group of feculty that has
studied Guilford’s feculty compensation.
Between 2009 - 2010 and 2012 - 2013, the total compensation
of Guilford’s seven top executives rose 15 percent according to the
IRS Form 990’s where Guilford reports executive compensation.
Some administrators’ reportable compensation, which
excludes benefits like health insurance, indicated they may have
made more than similar professionals ekev4iere. For example,
the AAUP reports that in 2014-15 the median salary for chief
See IMEQUmr \ Page 2