The quality of education at a university is important to many students. Part of what contributes to that quality is the faculty. However, in recent years, the U-W Eau Claire has been losing quality professors to other universities.
"With the erosion of the budget and with limited salary increases, we are for the first time, beginning to have difficulty in the recruitment of the best faculty and the retention of the best faculty," said Steven Tallant, the interim provost at U-W Eau Claire.
The median salary of U-W Eau Claire professors is about $64,000, which is lower than the regional average and in the lower end of the U-W system.
This prompted the U-W Eau Claire student senate to show their support for the faculty.
According to the proposal, a $10 fee would be added on the student tuition every semester, which is about the same as eating two meals at the Davies student cafeteria.
"With this $10 its not so much a fee than it is an investment. Its an investment in their degrees," said Aaron Olson, member of the student senate.
The $20-per student annual fee would generate about $430 for each professor, per year. However, it would not reward the support personnel, which consists of advisors, the registrar, and the people who work in admissions.
But, Tallant says the proposal sends a message to faculty members that goes beyond salary increases.
"It sure does demonstrate to faculty that these students do care about them, and in that sense, it may be a deciding factor in keeping them here."
"If professors can just realize that someone in this state does appreciate them and someone sees them as the professionals they are, than our job is done" said Olson.
The proposal is currently on Chancellor Vicky Larson's desk. She has until mid-January to approve the proposal. If it is approved, then it will have to be voted on by the Board of Regents.