President Martin announces pay raise, Google transition


President George E. Martin expressed his vision for the future of St. Edward’s University in his biannual state of the campus address.

It was a packed room for the speech in the Mabee Ballrooms Oct. 5. Among the topics covered were pay increases for faculty and staff and a transition to Google applications.

“Nobody is paid less than $15 an hour on the St. Edward’s campus,” Martin said.

Salary increases of three percent were approved and went into effect Oct. 1. While faculty and staff received an increase in pay, student pay remains the same, ranging from $8 per hour for freshman to $8.75 for seniors.

In addition, Martin announced the university is transitioning to Google applications, like Gmail and Google Calendar, leaving Zimbra behind.

The transition is estimated to be completed for everyone for the fall semester of 2017, said Sarah Sharif, project manager and communications strategists in the Office of Information and Technology.

It is a huge undertaking and the process is in split in three phases, starting this semester, Sharif said.

“I’m optimistic about the future, because of what we’ve accomplished in the past,” Martin said.

This year marks St. Edward’s largest group of new students, including transfers, with more than 1,100 admittances. However, the freshman class this year is smaller than last year’s, with 864 students. That is slightly down from 873 in 2015.

11 new tenure or tenure-track faculty members were hired and 146 faculty scholarships were awarded for the 2016-17 year.

For the 2015-16 year, 560 students studied abroad, down slightly of 576 in 2014-15. Of the members of the class of 2015, 66 percent studied abroad.

Martin also took time to highlight the recent accolades and accomplishments of the students in all fields of endeavor from athletics to academics, scholarships and business. Martin outlined some of the high profile success alumni have enjoyed recently. He also addressed recent achievements of the university’s faculty, with awards received and works published.

Martin also spoke on the state of the ongoing renovations on campus, including repairs on Main Building, and the construction of the new Operations Building.

“We have a wonderful inspiration from history, from the people we work with, and from the students we serve,” Martin said.

Another update Martin gave outlined plans for the school and its resources going forward, and the increased emphasis on study abroad programs. Changes include a more purpose built path with respect to studying abroad towards major studies.

It already exists for two-thirds of the majors, with 100 percent coverage projected for the future.