By Caitlin Schudalla
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Tuition change was the big-ticket item for the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents’ June meeting, but students and faculty will witness other long-term changes from items the regents approved Tuesday and Wednesday.
As part of the balanced Fiscal Year 2014 budget, which included the university’s new flat-rate tuition policy, OU President David Boren said measures will be taken to address lagging raises and the problem of “compression” in faculty.
“With our modest increase in state funding, we’ll designate $1.4 million to pay for faculty promotions. To not fund title raises is damaging to morale. This will include compression problems of faculty who have been working at the university for a number of years being paid less than new faculty due to market competition,” Boren said. “We feel this also damages morale, so under the provost’s supervision, we’ll find the most egregious cases and address them.”
Additional measures for staff will be to issue special, one-time bonuses of $500 for lowest-paid staff and increase Sooner Heritage Scholarships (for children of OU faculty and staff members) by $500.
The Norman campus’ increase in state appropriations was $1.3 million, making the overall FY 2014 budget for the Norman campus and Heath Sciences Center $1.73 billion.
“The total budget will enable us to do something very modest for our staff to honor their incredible performance this year. They’ve all been working very hard.”
The total project budget for dramatic renovations to Bizzell Memorial Library was approved, capping at $5.7 million. Approximately 20,000 square feet will be modernized and seating capacity will increase from 224 to 525 for the Lower Level 1 area.
Also being funded is a $1.1 million Market project in the Oklahoma Memorial Union, replacing space currently occupied by the Wendy’s restaurant. Agenda rationale stated a goal to “create a modern food services market providing popular, healthy meal, snack and beverage choices.”