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By Zach Thomas
Arizona Daily Wildcat
March 9, 1998

TIP gone, new program proposed

PHOENIX - A contentious program that tied faculty bonuses to their time in the classroom died in the Arizona Legislature Friday amid wrangling over a proposal to earmark nearly half of 1998 tuition hikes to the Teaching Incentive Program.

A proposed replacement program will not be related to teaching hours, but rather tied to overall performance evaluations.

"TIP is gone," said John Lee, assistant director of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, which helped put together the new plan.

"A minimum of $1 million from university funds will be deposited into the university performance bonus program - what once was the Teaching Incentive Program," Lee added.

When implemented last year, TIP's initial $4 million appropriation was to be distributed to faculty who taught six or more credit hours in the fall.

Some faculty members contended the program was too narrow and didn't take into account circumstances like sabbaticals.

The Arizona Board of Regents, along with Arizona's three state universities, had weighed in heavily against a February plan to allocate 40 percent of universities' tuition hikes to TIP.

"I think it was consensus," Lee said of the new replacement plan. "Everybody agreed that we should work with universities and work out this compromise."

Jerry Hogle, University of Arizona faculty chairman, said he was pleased with the agreement.

"This particular idea is an improvement over the TIP plan," Hogle said. "It does the job much better for faculty and for other categories of employees."

It remains to be seen how lawmakers and university administrators will implement the new bonus program, which will apply to all university employees - not just faculty.

"The things that we have to do for this money is fairly vague," Hogle said, mentioning student evaluations and surveys as possible factors to use in bonus distribution.

"This is the third part of a bigger package," Hogle said, citing an as-yet unconfirmed legislative plan to bump up classified salary adjustment funding for all state employees and reinstate merit salary increases for university teachers.

The Legislature suspended merit salary allocations from university faculty when lawmakers implemented TIP last year.

"Our main position was that we should be able to participate in the CSAs and merit pool just like any state employee," said Hogle, who also is a member of the Arizona Faculty Council.

Lee, however, maintained the university faculty were missing out under the new plan.

Lee said his research indicates during the past five years tuition increases at each of Arizona's three state universities have netted an average of $5 million a year. That would mean a $2 million TIP allocation per university under the 40 percent plan, Lee said.

"Now, there's only $1 million to take care of all universities. Faculty lose out bad under this one, but that's the political game," Lee said. According to UA lobbyist Greg Fahey, the proposal, which passed a joint appropriations subcommittee Friday, now moves to partisan caucuses where lawmakers will hash out its final wording.

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