The past year was challenging for all of us -- personally and professionally. The COVID-19 pandemic required us to become more enterprising and flexible and to employ newfound courage and tenacity. I am humbled by the teamwork and collaboration I witnessed throughout the Miami community. We were innovative and compassionate about delivering an outstanding educational and living experience to our students. Your remarkable efforts were crucial to our ability to successfully navigate the pandemic, and to position Miami for future success. This past year confirmed that Miami University's future is bright because of the exceptional people that make up our university.
Last summer, like many universities around the country, we had to take difficult steps to ensure that our 2020-21 budget could withstand the anticipated financial uncertainty caused by the pandemic. These steps, in addition to unexpected funding through the federal Cares Act and Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds, smaller than expected reductions in state support, and unexpectedly strong returns on our investments are allowing us to enter 2021-22 in a much stronger financial position.
I am pleased to announce that we expect the Board of Trustees to approve a 2% salary improvement pool for 2021-22. All Miami University employees hired before April 1, 2021, will be eligible for this merit-based pay increase if approved. Department heads will allocate these increases based on performance.
In addition, as an acknowledgment of the extraordinary work and tireless efforts of Miami’s employees throughout the pandemic, we also expect the Board to approve a one-time salary increment as an honorarium payment. Full-time employees whose base salary or annualized hourly base earnings are below $75,000 will receive a one-time payment of $750. Full-time employees whose base salary or annualized hourly base earnings are above $75,000 will receive a one-time payment equal to 1% of their base salary or wage. In order to be eligible for the one-time payment, full-time employees must have been employed on September 1, 2020, through the end of their contract year. Part-time employees, graduate assistants and resident assistants will also receive honoraria payments, acknowledging their important contributions to this effort.
Thank you again for your dedication, determination, courage, and commitment to Miami University and the students, families, and communities we have the honor to serve.
Love and Honor,
President Gregory P. Crawford