An investment in the people who do the good work

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing you from Washington, DC, where today Excelencia in Education awarded Texas Woman’s, among nine colleges and universities, the 2023 Seal of Excelencia, a certification of your work for student success grounded in evidence. At the event, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said that the seal carries significant weight when the department makes decisions to award federal grants. I was proud to receive this award on your behalf.

This acknowledgment of excellence and commitment to student success comes on the heels of other recognitions this year, such as the ACE/Fidelity Investments 2023 Award for Institutional Transformation, accreditations, research grants, and much more, institutionally and individually. All of these achievements led to the “One-time Merit Pay in August.” They also inspired the A Million Dreams music video production by our talented students, faculty, staff, and alums, unveiled at the fall assembly.

Through the advocacy of the TWU Faculty Senate and because these national awards reflect your outstanding work, I want you to personally feel the institution’s momentum. I am prepared to allocate a 5% pool this year for base salary increases that will take effect on January 1, 2024. Deans, supervisors, and vice presidents would have that pool to draw from as they work through performance evaluations and award salary increases.

There is a risk to taking such a bold move when we previously planned on a 2% raise each year in this biennium. It means that, short of a meaningful increase in revenue, we will not have any funds to award base salary increases next year. This risk to a balanced budget in the future is also an investment in the faculty and staff who have demonstrated excellence not once but many times this past year. It acknowledges your tenacity and grit to achieve success even in difficult times.

I would love to hear your thoughts comparing a 5% all-at-once approach to a compromise of 3% this year and 2% next year. The latter approach would compound and continue to solidify a regular pattern of annual raises. The former would be more money in your pocket this year.

Either way, this investment symbolizes my commitment to “boldly go” by putting the faculty and staff first—people who make dreams come true for many deserving students. More actions are still in play, including the $800K I allocated for the provost to address inversion and compression in faculty salaries. HR has a compensation study underway for staff salaries, and the provost has a task force looking at compensation more holistically.

A faculty and staff with a proven track record of excellence deserve this intentional investment. We only have to look to our students and alums for inspiration—to see how our work matters. There are many more who could benefit from a Texas Woman’s education. That is the work ahead, work I am eager to take on together with you. Thank you again for all you have done to make Texas Woman's shine on the national education landscape. The little light that is TWU, we are gonna let it shine!

With a pioneering spirit,

Carine M. Feyten, Ph.D.
Chancellor and President

Page last updated 9:16 AM, October 2, 2023