SGA members expressed mostly positive opinions on the proposed 1.012% salary increase for President Phil Oldham, but raised concerns about the pay disparity between Oldham and professors.
If approved by the board of trustees in March, the increase would bring Oldham’s salary to slightly more than $350,000.
“He does a lot for the university so I know he’s earned it,” Rachel Johnson, SGA’s Residence Hall Association representative, said. “He always supports us in whatever we decide and he’s just really looking for the good of the university. He pushes us to keep moving forward.”
Members of the executive cabinet said they are pleased with his performance and support the proposed raise, as it puts him on the same level as other university presidents.
“Chairman Trudy of the board of trustees, I think she recommended the raise because it’s on par with what high level executives would get for such high-level performance,” Daniel Hines, SGA’s chief of staff, said. “I don’t necessarily have an issue with it, but I can see why others, for a number of reasons, may.”
Aaron Lay, SGA’s secretary of state, emphasized the importance of paying Oldham a competitive salary because of all he has done for Tech.
“I feel like this bonus and raise get him on an equal playing field with other university presidents. That’s very much the salary range that others get paid,” he said. “His goals and plans are fantastic. I know one of his big things is increasing our research dollars from $20 million to $40 million in the next five years, which is a big feat. I think this is the administration that would get that done.”
Rachel Baker, SGA’s executive legislative advisor, expressed her concern about the salary difference between Tech’s professors and Oldham.
“The biggest thing is pay disparity. If we have a finite pool, then yes, we should make sure we keep him in a competitive rank because we don’t want to lose him. He’s doing a great job,” she said. “But we also need to look at maybe being able to distribute that. Administration can only get accomplished what your faculty is wanting to accomplish with you.”