Starting today, West Virginia University faculty and staff are benefiting from the largest overall salary increase since 1993, with many receiving raises exceeding 5 percent, WVU officials said.

A 5 percent salary increase pool for employees at the Morgantown campus was approved by the WVU Board of Governors Aug. 31.

Classified staff saw the largest increase, WVU officials reported. The average classified staff raise was 5.72 percentamong those eligibleand 47 percent of classified employees had an increase of more than 6 percent.

Faculty raises averaged 5.33 percent; nonclassified staff, 5.3 percent.

Faculty salary increases were based on merit; classified staff salary increases were governed by the legislatively mandated pay schedule. Those employees whose salaries are below $20,000 received a minimum $1,500 annual adjustmentprovided their placement on the salary schedule allowed such an increase.

Due to the structure of the salary schedule, some classified employees were not eligible for the full 5 percent, WVU President Mike Garrison said, and in some instances, the raise was small.

This points out a deficiency in the salary schedule, particularly as we approach full funding of the schedule,he said.WVU was unable to reward some hardworking, dedicated employees because they are at or near the highest salary that can be paid in their pay grade.

Garrison added,As we move forward, my goal is to find resources to not only fully fund the schedule, but move to a system where the University has some ability to adjust compensation in a way that is both fair to employees and helps WVU recruit and retain the faculty and staff who will be needed to fulfill our mission. Were going to work hard to unite faculty and staff in this effort.

The salary increases add $16 million to the Universitys annual payroll, according to WVU officials. Of this additional amount, $8 million is funded through appropriations through the state legislature with the remaining $8 million generated primarily by enrollment and tuition increases.