The average 2009-10 salary of a University of Wisconsin professor has decreased from previous years due in part to state mandated furlough days.

UW is part of approximately 33 percent of public and private universities that have had salary decreases, according to a report released March 8 from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.

The average budgeted salary for a professor at UW for the 2009-10 academic year is $111,125, which is a slight increase from 2008-09, when the average was $109,512, according to a statement from the UW System and the 2009-10 Data Digest, respectively.

However, the budgeted salary does not take into account furlough days, which were mandated by the state in the 2009-11 UW System Biennial budget.

Furlough days require state employees to take a total of eight days off without pay.

According to Darrell Bazzell, vice chancellor for administration at UW, the furlough days are approximately a 3 percent decrease in pay.

When the temporary decrease from the furlough days are applied to the average budgeted 2009-10 salary for a UW professor, it comes out to be $107,791.25, a decrease from previous years.

Even with the furlough days taken into consideration, the 2009-10 UW professor salary is more than any other university’s average pay in the system, according to a statement from the UW System.

This figure does not take into account funds a faculty member might receive from the High Demand Faculty Retention Fund, which is given to the UW System by the state to make sure talented faculty are not lured to other competitive universities outside the system.

Giroux speculated the fund could make a difference in the increased average.

The state allocated approximately $7.5 million to the UW System for this fund, and UW receives half of the allocation for faculty retention.

Bazzell said while the allocation is applied to individual faculty, it could still affect the base line average salary of a UW professor.

Bazzell said UW passed up a scheduled 2 percent pay increase for the 2009-11 biennium budget, which also contributes to decreased salaries. He stressed the furloughs and forgone salary increase will not be permanent cuts to salaries.

UW Systems spokesperson David Giroux said there have been no across the board increases for the UW System.

He said even if the budgeted average salary is reportedly higher, it doesn’t mean professors and other faculty members are receiving higher salaries. It just means the pool of funds from which the average is taken from is higher.

UW is a member of CUPA-HR and one of the 320 public universities that participated in the survey. It reported there was no median increase for universities, and the median decrease for every institution in the survey was 3 percent.

The median increase for public institutions nationwide dropped from 3.5 percentage points in 2008-09 to 0 percentage points in 2009-10.

The statement from CUPA-HR that was reflected on the survey results said this is a result of tough economic times.

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