Dental School admin. staff agree to salary decreases

The administration voted unanimously to take a 2.3 percent pay cut in order to preserve jobs.

by Tara Bannow

The University of Minnesota School Of Dentistry senior administrative staff unanimously agreed to shoulder a 2.3 percent reduction in salary for the 2010-11 academic year. The proposal is two times larger than the cut approved by the faculty senate. Dean Patrick Lloyd said the estimated $86,000 saved will go toward retaining faculty and staff positions. âÄúItâÄôs an effort to demonstrate the importance of making additional sacrifices to safeguard the jobs of others,âÄù he said. University President Bob BruininksâÄô budget plan includes a 2.3 percent reduction that applies to administrators systemwide but excludes those within schools. Deans are included in the 2.3 percent reduction. Lloyd, who currently makes $233,380 annually, has committed to a 3.8 percent salary reduction next year. The move was discussed at a meeting two weeks ago held at the request of Dental School administrators. Attendees were told to e-mail Lloyd with their decision, and all nine sent âÄúyesâÄù votes within two days. âÄúWhatâÄôs happened here is the fact that our staff and faculty have a closeness,âÄù he said. âÄúThey work together really intimately.âÄù Over the past year, interim chairman and professor Don Simone, who agreed to the deeper cut, said heâÄôs seen several people lose their jobs in the Dental School. âÄúThe University runs best with everyone here âÄî from professors to students to staff to faculty,âÄù he said. âÄúAs people get let go, it really takes away from the ability of all of us to perform our best.âÄù As a school that provides dental care in the community, the Dental School is directly impacted by the stateâÄôs health care cuts in that it receives less funding for those who canâÄôt afford care, Lloyd said. The school is especially impacted by reductions to Medical Education and Research Costs, a state-funded program the school relies upon to send its students to clinics in Willmar and Hibbing. Judith Buchanan, associate dean for academic affairs, said it makes sense for those with higher salaries to set the right example and take higher cuts. âÄúWeâÄôre the ones that have towards the highest income,âÄù she said, âÄúso it makes a bigger impact.âÄù On Friday afternoon, Lloyd announced the decision to faculty members in an e-mail. Professor Jill Stoltenberg, the Dental School representative to the faculty council, said sheâÄôs not surprised by the decision, as the school has dicussed the idea of greater contributions from those who can afford to give more. âÄúItâÄôs an important gesture on the part of the senior administrative faculty,âÄù she said. âÄúIn this difficult economic time, it means a lot for those who can give more to do so.âÄù Stoltenberg said she expects that some faculty members will take additional salary reductions in the coming weeks as well. The idea behind the additional cuts, which Buchanan said she hopes catches on among other schools within the University, is to keep staff intact and retain educational quality for students. âÄúWeâÄôre looking at every aspect of the school, at how we could do it more efficiently and save money,âÄù she said. âÄúThe more that we can find that doesnâÄôt affect the quality of our students and educational programs, the better.âÄù