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Faculty Compensation Studies

In concert with its Strategic Plan, LEADS 2025, Goal 4 – Build a Robust University System, NMSU continuously seeks to undertake process improvements leading to incorporation of best practices in its day-to-day operations. Ensuring NMSU has appropriate policies and procedures in place to guide faculty compensation practices is a Goal 4 priority of Provost Carol Parker, and HRS Assistant Vice President, Gena Jones.  

Such goals require periodic review and refinement of policies and procedures, as well as regular, systematic analysis of the outcomes of NMSU’s compensation policies and practices.  Conducting regular and transparent external market and internal equity reviews, and validating internal compensation data, are best practices that should be part of our standard operating procedures, and are concrete ways to demonstrate NMSU’s commitment to faculty equity and excellence, together with articulating bench-marks for improvement, and a specific plan for prioritizing funds to fill any identified compensation gaps, will help NMSU attract and retain excellent faculty members. NMSU will seek in this endeavor to provide competitive salaries, recognizing that ongoing and strategically targeted funding will play an important role in reaching that goal. Any strategic compensation plans will be subject to funding availability and budget approval by the Board of Regents. 

Through these efforts, NMSU will seek to ensure the following outcomes with respect to its faculty compensation rates:

  • Incentivize, recognize and reward faculty work which is aligned with and advances NMSU’s mission and strategic goals;
  • Support recruitment and retention of the most accomplished faculty possible to ensure that NMSU remains academically strong and competitive; and
  • Ensure all faculty receive comparable compensation for comparable contributions to NMSU’s mission, including women, under-represented groups and other protected classes.

FY2021-2022 Initiatives

Preliminary Results of External Market Competitiveness Study (October 6, 2021)

Effective AY2021-2022, the first round of faculty base salary compensation increases as the result of Study #2 are occurring.  Faculty who are eligible will see increases in their first paycheck of the academic year. These adjustments are considered Phase One of what is intended to be a series of ongoing analyses of faculty compensation rates, with further adjustments planned as additional revenue sources are identified, all in an attempt to bring our overall compensation rates closer to market rates.  The revenue for the Phase One adjustments was obtained from a recurring revenue allocation approved by the Board of Regents in May of 2021, together with a further strategic reallocation requested by the Provost of recurring revenue from other sources.  Phase One consisted of a comparison of the compensation rates of 551 regular faculty at the NMSU Las Cruces campus, relative to compensation rates of similarly situated faculty at 55 peer public research universities.  The comparison data was obtained from an annual survey undertaken by the College and University Professional Association for HR professionals (CUPA-HR). The Phase One comparison controlled for appointment status, rank, field of study, and credentials.  Of 551 faculty reviewed as part of Phase One, approximately 20% are receiving adjustments at this time due to salary compression relative to market.  Market comparison studies for other faculty cohorts are still in process; Study #1 is still underway as well.  During the months of August and September, 2021, the Faculty Compensation Advisory Committee, and representatives from HRS and the Provost’s Office will be presenting the initial findings of Study #2 and the outcomes of the Phase One adjustments.  A preliminary report will also be published here soon.

New for FY21-22, faculty may access a new “Appointment and Compensation Records” link in Banner.  This online portal provides faculty with comprehensive and real-time information about their current Banner record, including current primary position, status (regular v. temporary), rank, tenure-clock information if any, base compensation and any supplemental compensation (overload, summer, administrative stipend, etc.). For more information please read the July 29, 2021 announcement.


FY2020-2021 Initiatives

In Fall Semester 2020, Provost Parker and Dr. Jones launched an initiative to review current policies and practices to identify potential areas for improvement.  In addition, to help alleviate concerns about potential salary inequities or uncompetitive salaries at NMSU, two studies of the base salary compensation rates of main campus faculty members with regular appointments will be conducted:


Study #1

Internal Equity Analysis of NMSU’s FY2020-2021 compensation rates to determine whether all faculty are receiving comparable pay for comparable work. Any shortfall in predicted salaries of faculty attributable to gender, race or ethnicity, no matter how small, is unacceptable and NMSU must take appropriate steps to remedy them.

Study #2

Preliminary Results of External Market Competitiveness Study (October 6, 2021)

External Comparison of NMSU’s FY2020-2021 compensation rates with those of other similar public research universities to ascertain whether NMSU’s current faculty salaries a competitive in the marketplace—an important consideration in NMSU’s ability to recruit and retain faculty.

Steering Committee

These projects will be supported by a Steering Committee consisting of the individuals in the following table. The Committee members have signed an agreement pledging to keep the project information confidential and not to use any of the compensation information provided to them for any purpose other than what is intended for this project.

 Steering Committee Charge Letter


Steering Committee Membership
Name Title College
Laura Madson (Co-Chair) Professor Arts & Sciences
Justin MacDonald (Co-Chair) Associate Professor Arts & Sciences
Gaylene Fasenko Professor Agriculture, Environmental & Consumer Sciences
Martha Mitchell Professor Engineering
Iván De La Rosa Associate Professor Health & Social Services
Delia Valles-Rosales Associate Professor Engineering
Carol Flinchbaugh Associate Professor Business
Huiping Cao Associate Professor Arts and Sciences
Michael Kalkbrenner Assistant Professor Education
Henrietta Pichon Interim Dean Education
Joe Tomaka Professor Health and Social Services
Rolston St. Hilaire Academic Department Head Agriculture, Environmental & Consumer Sciences
Charlotte Gard Associate Professor Business
Tonghui Wang Professor Arts & Sciences
Jeanette Haynes Writer Professor Education
Dawn VanLeeuwen Professor Business
Manal Hamzeh Professor Arts & Sciences
Marshall Taylor Assistant Professor Arts & Sciences
Name Title College

For more information, please contact Dr. Laura Madson, committee co-chair at 

Faculty Town Hall

Members of the Steering Committee joined Provost Parker, Faculty Senate Chair Julia Parra and Assistant Vice President Gena Jones (HRS) on December 4, 2020 for a Faculty Town Hall. You can view the recording below. 

View the Recording