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Salary freeze looms

A proposal to implement a salary freeze will be presented to the Board of Trustees Friday as part of a plan to cut between $2 to 3 million from the budget.

According to Sally Randel, vice president for institutional advancement, the proposal which will be presented by President Holmgren is composed of an approximate $2.4 million budget cut. The tentative pay freeze may account for $800,000.

Randel said the entire proposal consists of an $800,000 cut from academic programs, $800,000 from administrative salaries, and the $800,000 savings from the pay-freeze.

If accepted, Randel said the freeze would affect all faculty and staff, except for those who were promoted this year. Implementation would occur at the beginning of the fiscal year, July 1, which is when faculty and staff would normally receive their annual raise.

Randel said she feels there is a great likelihood that the freeze will be implemented. “If I were a betting person, I’d bet on it,” she said.

However, Ken Burke, film studies professor, said that although he hopes the proposal is enough to cover the budget deficit, even the president is not sure if the board will accept the proposal.

Elizabeth Burwell, acting vice president and treasurer, said that there is currently no pay freeze; and everything is up for review by the board this week. Until they make a decision, nothing is definite.

With the freeze, the yearly pay increase to offset the rising cost of living in the bay area will not be made, and staff would retain their current pay through the 2003-2004 fiscal year. Randel added that the impact of a salary freeze will most likely not have as great an impact as it would during a year of high inflation. This year, the cost of living hasn’t increased significantly, she said.

If the pay freeze proposal is not accepted, the alternative is deeper cuts to other areas that are already being affected. This, according to Burke, would mean more staff and faculty lay-offs. Burke said the cuts might mean slightly fewer programs. He added that “by cutting programs, we run the risk of alienating students.”

According to Randel, both the administration and staff would also receive cuts.