ASU Salary Pool Tightens Belt

August 8, 2004 -- Posted at 5:50 p.m. CDTxml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /

JONESBORO -- Administrators at Arkansas State University are working through a budget shortfall just before students come back for the fall semester. 

School begins just weeks from Monday... that doesn't leave much time for administrators to deal with a shortage in the salary pool.

Dr. Susan Allen, Vice Chancellor of Research & Academic Affairs said, "There's not as much money to go around as there was last year, but we have more new faculty also."

The school has a budget shortfall in their salary pool.  But what exactly does that mean?  Professors who take sabbaticals, resign or retire are often replaced with temporary instructors.  To fund these jobs, money is used from the salary pool.  But this year, the school is falling short.

"We always have temporary faculty and adjunct faculty. Some of them we plan for, some of them come in at the last minute, and as I said, what happened was that the request for off budget faculty this year was more than we had available," said Dr. Allen.

While the shortfall in the salary pool is confusing, the school does plan to have everything worked out before students come back for the fall semester.

"Were going to try to manage class size, so we end up with fewer half full classes, under filled classes. I think that the outcome of this will be good in the long run, but unfortunately in the short run, it's creating a lot of scurrying around trying to fix things," said Dr. Allen, "Were trying to be more efficient about our teaching, our instructional needs. Using the temporary faculty we already have on contract."

Dr. Allen says the school plans to hire more tenured faculty next year to help combat the shortfall in the salary pool.