Loras College Launches $75 Milllion Campaign to Help Increase Professor Pay

by Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

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By Katie Wiedemann

DUBUQUE, Iowa - An ambitious fundraising goal could mean better pay for professors at Loras College in Dubuque. Administrators there say they're trying to raise $75 million to help pay their employees a little better.

On Thursday, the Catholic college kicked off a capital campaign it calls, "Inspiring Lives and Leadership".

Inside his Intro to Video Production class, Professor Craig Schaefer jokes with his students before giving them a mid-term exam. He loves his job, but says he's not in it for the money.

Schaefer said, "We're certainly not the University of Iowa in terms of what they can afford to pay. The faculty who are here are here for students. "

Administrators say passionate professors are the reason students choose Loras. They hope higher salaries will attract quality teachers and encourage them to stick around.

Loras College President Jim Collins said, "when you talk to faculty not only here but everywhere, who wouldn't want salaries to be increased? "

Administrators admit Loras hasn't increased professor pay as quickly as other similar sized colleges.

"When you think about 1970, for instance, we had roughly 50 of our full-time faculty members were priests. That was out of a full time faculty of 60. We'll we weren't paying their entire wage because the Archdiocese of Dubuque was helping. "

Fast forward to 2013, Loras now employs 120 faculty. Only two are priests. Trustees say the campaign dollars will increase the pool of money from which they pay professors.

"The fact that the college is making a campaign to increase student learning and faculty. That tells you so much more than building a building," said Schaefer.

Trustees say they've already raised $44 million the silent phase of the campaign. They'll also use some of the money to help with student financial aid.

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