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Penn State's planning a 2.5% salary increase for employees

Students walk across the Old Main lawn during the first week of the 2021 fall semester
Min Xian
Students walk across the Old Main lawn during the first week of the 2021 fall semester
Updated: July 22, 2022 at 6:26 PM EDT
On Friday, Penn State's full Board of Trustees voted to approve the finance committee's proposed 2.5% salary increase for employees.

Penn State is planning to increase employees' salaries 2.5% percent for 2022-23, under a plan the board of trustees will vote on Friday.

The university board of trustee's finance committee approved recommending the salary increase during its meeting Thursday after a presentation from Chief Financial Officer Sara Thorndike.

“We know the proposed general salary increase is quite modest at 2.5%, and we want our employees to know they’re important to us,” Thorndike said.

Faculty member Michelle Rodino-Colocino, an associate professor of media studies, noted that inflation is more than 9%.

“We need a cost of living adjustment that keeps up with inflation. Otherwise that 2.5% pay raise is actually a large pay cut,” she said.

President of the Penn State American Association of University Professors, Rodino-Colocino said she’s concerned about faculty, staff and student debt and the need for more funding from the state.

“The long-term answer really has to be a commitment to fully fund public higher ed as a common good,” she said.

A Penn State spokesman noted that, "Pennsylvania annually ranks among the lowest states in the country for per-capita support of higher education, hovering over the years between 46th and 49th among the 50 states."

According to the university, self-supporting units including Intercollegiate Athletics, the College of Medicine, Penn State Health and the Applied Research Laboratory, set and pay for their own salary increases. Wage increases for union employees are covered by their collective bargaining agreements.

The full board of trustees will vote on the salary increase tomorrow at its meeting at Penn State York. If approved, the pay raises will be retroactive to July 1 and take effect with employees’ August 2022 paychecks.

Anne Danahy is a reporter at WPSU. She was a reporter for nearly 12 years at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, where she earned a number of awards for her coverage of issues including the impact of natural gas development on communities.