The 2017 Legislature did not appropriate money for state employee raises.
The Legislature didn’t prohibit that – if the agencies could find money within their appropriations to grant the raises.
The state Board of Higher Education prohibited pay increases in fiscal year 2018. But in fiscal 2019, the University System office wants to make a change.
"For the next academic year, we are recommending that campuses be given flexibility to provide reasonable general salary and/or equity increases, with Chancellor approval," University System Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs Tammy Dolan told the Board’s Budget and Finance Committee. Dolan said there are some caveats.
"We want to make sure the current and ongoing cost of salary increases, funded with general fund dollars or tuition dollars, be supported by either documented budget reallocation or budget cuts, or adjustments that have been made," Dolan said.
Those adjustments could include tuition rates, as well as raising room and board costs.
Dolan said when the language was run by the Chancellor’s Cabinet, there was some question about whether the Chancellor should have to approve all raises on the campuses.
"The intent was never to have the Chancellor approve every salary increase at the institutions," Dolan said.
Committee members said they wanted the language changed, so the campus presidents would report the raises to the Chancellor’s office, instead of having the Chancellor give the OK.
"It think this is micromanagement, " said committee member Casey Ryan. "I think the Chancellor needs to know, but the presidents are the closest to what's going on, and it's their decision."
The full Board of Higher Education will look at the language at its meeting later this month.