Budget Forum Outlines Compensation Improvement Proposal for Mason Faculty and Staff

Posted: May 2, 2011 at 1:01 am, Last Updated: May 2, 2011 at 1:09 pm

By Dan Walsch

George Mason University’s proposed budget for the upcoming 2011-12 academic year contains plans for “compensation improvement” for faculty and staff. The announcement was made on Friday during the most recent of a series of budget forums held by Senior Vice President Maurice Scherrens and Provost Peter Stearns.

Describing this proposal as a “high priority,” Scherrens and Stearns were unable to share any specifics other than to say it will be further discussed at the upcoming meeting of Mason’s Board of Visitors on May 4. Scherrens and Stearns indicated that details will be shared with the campus community following any actions taken by the BOV.

This proposal is one of several key components of a $876 million budget package for the upcoming academic year. Other items include a $1.5 million increase to undergraduate and graduate financial aid, $850,000 in library materials, $1.5 million in unit program support and new initiative funding and $4.1 million in new enrollment growth funding.

Approximately 100 Mason faculty and staff members were in attendance to hear Scherrens and Stearns disclose plans to raise tuition fees and room and board fees by 5.7 percent for the coming year. Such an increase places Mason in the middle third of educational costs when compared to similar institutions in Virginia.

State support for Mason and other colleges and universities in Virginia continues to decline. Over the past four years, Mason has had nearly $36 million cut from its budget.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu