Merit announcement from UTSA President Ricardo Romo

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May 4, 2010

 

UTSA faculty and staff members,

As you are aware, in January 2010, Governor Rick Perry requested that state agencies (including institutions of higher education) identify a "5 percent reduction to their 2010-2011 general revenue and general revenue-dedicated appropriations." UTSA's proposed reduction is $9.8 million.

As a result of the general economy, and more specifically, consistent with the governor's request, we have reviewed several budget strategies as we plan for the next biennium. While I want to make sure that resources are concentrated to support our core educational mission, I believe that UTSA faculty and staff are crucial for our success as one of the state's fastest growing public universities.

We cannot anticipate the outcome of the 2011 Legislative session and the possible funding cuts that may come our way to address the state's multi-billion-dollar operating deficit. However, rather than not offering a merit in the fall, I have asked that we implement the following merit process to recognize our faculty and staff for their contributions.

1. Merit for staff and faculty will be distributed as a one-time, lump sum merit allocation. As such, unlike in prior years, there will be no increase in employees' base pay, rather, a one-time distribution in the December 1, 2010, paycheck.

2. The distribution will be an overall 2.3 percent pool of funds (approximately $3 million).

3. Because of proposed increases in employees' health benefits out-of-pocket costs, which would have the most impact on UTSA classified employees, the Strategic Resource Planning Council recommended, and I concur, that a higher percentage of the pool be allocated to the classified employees' pool to provide opportunities to partially offset planned out-of-pocket costs.

Consistent with previous years, individual merit allocation methodology based on performance will be the responsibility of the respective vice presidents.

In June, detailed instructions, including the merit policy and a time line for turning in information to the Budget Office, will be sent to vice presidents and department heads. The merit process itself will be consistent with that of prior years.

Thank you again for your continuing support and efforts to make UTSA a premier national research university.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ricardo Romo
President,
The University of Texas at San Antonio