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The University of Central Florida continues to experience remarkable growth, with Fall Semester enrollment exceeding 50,500 students. President Hitt and I are pleased to announce that the tuition revenue generated by our strategic enrollment growth and increasing retention rates affords us the resources to reward those dedicated faculty and staff members who have worked so diligently to serve our growing student population during these very difficult times.

To that end, eligible full-time faculty and staff members (excluding contracted OPS and hourly OPS employees) will receive a non-recurring one-time lump sum bonus payment of $1,000, less applicable taxes. In addition, colleges and divisions will be given a pool of funds equivalent to 1 percent of the current salaries of all their non-OPS education and general funded employees to award merit-based pay increases to eligible employees. Specific salary increase eligibility guidelines, similar to past practice, will be announced shortly.

We anticipate the one-time lump sum bonuses and merit-based increases for out-of-unit employees (those not represented by a union) will be included in the paychecks received on Friday, October 24, 2008. The funds required to compensate in-unit employees (those represented by AFSCME, PBA, or UFF) will be held centrally, awaiting the concurrence of the respective unions.

In the weeks and months ahead, I will continue to regularly communicate about state-wide budget issues and the way in which those issues affect the university. For now, however, I am pleased to share this good news during a period when good news is hard to come by. Thank you for your continued efforts to serve our growing student population and, in so doing, helping to generate the tuition revenue that made these increases in compensation possible.

I also want to thank the members of the UCF Board of Trustees for their continued commitment to our employees, as shown by their enthusiastic backing of these efforts to compensate our faculty and staff members.