Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
WWU faculty-pay raise
I find it puzzling how Western Washington University President Bruce Shepard explained that the raises came after administrators cut programs, including little-used classes and concentrations [“Seeing red over raises at WWU,” page one, July 4].
The big question is: How is it that the same cost-savings cuts did not come into focus when tuition costs were increased? What other cost-savings cuts are possible and not addressed? What about an audit of this institution considering that 5.25 percent raises were awarded for this year and 4.25 percent for each of the following two years?
The article states current salaries are lower when compared to other universities, and my questions are: What about benefits? In comparing with other universities, what about the cost-of-living differences between the WWU location to other university locations?
There is a bigger story here, and a lot of unanswered questions.
— Fran Whitehill, Shoreline
WWU faculty pay raises necessary
Western Washington University was absolutely justified in raising faculty pay, and it was a good decision for our state.
In the modern world, economic prosperity depends on startup firms, technological advances and qualified graduates coming from strong research universities. That requires excellent faculty, which requires paying them. WWU’s salaries were a dismal 480th of 574 similar universities.
They risked a death spiral, with the best faculty leaving for better offers and the best candidates not coming, then further departures because of lack of quality. WWU made the hard choices necessary to maintain the excellence of their faculty in the face of shortsighted and inadequate state funding, and we should be grateful.
— Tim Hesterberg, Seattle