NWACC Board of Trustees Approves Over $2.6 Million for Salary Increases and Updated Baseline for Staff and Faculty

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NWACC Board of Trustees Approves Over $2.6 Million for Salary Increases and Updated Baseline for Staff and Faculty

Faculty member talking to students

The NorthWest Arkansas Community (NWACC) Board of Trustees approved the recommended budget to increase salaries and update the baseline for full-time staff and faculty members. Over $2.6 million of the college's approved 2025 budget will be allocated toward NWACC employees' pay.

“Along with the increases that were given in Fall 2023, and with the resulting increases in employee benefit costs as a result of compensation increases, the total investment in this project is just under $4 million in less than 12 months and that is astounding,” said Catherin Doner, NWACC’s interim vice president of finance & administration.

The initiative to increase the wage of NWACC employees started in 2022 when NWACC President Dr. Dennis C. Rittle held listening sessions.

“The most frequent request of our employees was to bring our compensation to a competitive level so that we can better recruit and retain talent,” said Dr. Rittle. “Our students have consistently voiced the importance of high-quality faculty and staff. These unified efforts of employees and trustees to bring our workforce compensation to market baselines go a long way in serving our students and valuing our employees.”

NWACC conducted a compensation study in consultation with JER HR Group to determine the needed changes, which resulted in salary adjustments being completed in October 2023 and the summer of 2024.

Virtually all NWACC employees will be impacted.

“It is truly humbling and extremely gratifying. Many salary increases will be life-changing for our valued employees, and we are thrilled to be able to provide these increases to our amazing faculty and staff,” added Lisa Milam, executive director of human resources. “In addition, we project these increases will help retain our talent, which will greatly benefit our students and their success.”

The effect will be the following:

  • Most full-time staff members will receive an increase when salaries are moved to a market baseline.
  • All full-time staff will receive a 3% cost of living adjustment that will be applied to salaries after the market baseline increases are applied.
  • All full-time faculty will receive a salary increase.
  • Part-time staff and adjunct faculty will also see salary increases.

The salary increase was approved during the college’s Board of Trustees meeting on May 20th.

“We want to thank the members of the Finance Committee and the Board of Trustees for recognizing the need to invest in our people and voting to support the increased revenue and this budget to fund these pay raises,” said Milam.

NWACC employees are expected to see salary changes as early as July.