SFA Board of Regents approves changes to salaries, meal plans, housing

SFA Board of Regents approves changes to salaries, meal plans, housing
Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 5:21 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 30, 2023 at 6:53 PM CST
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The SFA Board of Regents met Monday and approved a mid-year salary increase for employees of the university, an increase to non-resident fees and an increase to university meal plans and housing.

The board approved the use of $3.5 million for a six percent increase to employees’ base salary. Interim President Dr. Steve Westbrook said this is meant to combat increases in the cost of living.

“We were really excited to recommend to our board an increase of six percent across the board for our employees here at the university,” Westbrook said.

This increase is for employees who were employed by Jan. 15, 2023. Westbrook said the board requested this increase from the University of Texas System when deciding to affiliate.

“One of our goals was to make sure that we included as many categories as possible, and we were able to do that. Almost every one of our employees will see benefits to this pay increase,” Westbrook said.

Some of those included are faculty and staff who are paid from university funds, faculty and staff who are full-time as of Jan. 15, 2023, adjunct faculty who were employed as of the cutoff date, faculty and staff employed in a permanent budget part-time position as of the cutoff date and many more.

Those not included are RTW employees in part-time or temporary positions as of the cutoff date, employees with employment agreements containing retention payments or automatic salary escalators, casual and temporary employees, and student and graduate positions.

“There are just a few employees that won’t be eligible simply based on some restrictions that are out of our control,” Westbrook said.

Employees will see this pay increase as of their March 1 paycheck.

The board of regents also approved a 2.4 percent increase in the non-resident tuition fee. This affects all students who attend SFA from out of the state. About 96.5% of SFA’s student population are Texas residents, while about 55% of non-resident students are exempt from paying the fee.

“That tuition fee is established by the Texas Higher Education coordinating board, and they took action to increase that fee, so we have to calculate that increase into our calculations as well,” Westbrook said.

The board also approved an increase in meal plan costs and room and housing rates by 8 percent.

The university said the meal plan cost increase is because of an increase in food costs, paper products, packaging and shipping of items.

“So, we recommend an 8 percent increase to cover those increased costs of those plans,” Westbrook said.

They said the room and housing rates are set to increase because of the cost of operation, supplies and utilities.

“We’re also very mindful of where we land with our rates relative to others in the state, and even with our increase we are proposing, we will be in the bottom half of housing rates that are across the state,” Westbrook said.