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Small Rewards: 14th AS&U Compensation Survey--College Administrators

College and university administrative salary increases for 1999-00 were not only lower than private-sector raises, but also lagged behind school district increases.

National salary increases averaged 3.7% at 4-year colleges and 4.1% at 2-year institutions, according to American School & University's 14th Compensation Survey. Private-sector-professional increases averaged 4.4%, while school district administrative raises averaged 4.9%. In determining salary increases, both 4-year and 2-year colleges based their decisions primarily on overall budget determinations, competitive practices and cost of living.

Getting the numbers To get the information on college compensation for AS&U's 14th report, an in-depth survey was mailed to 1,000 chief business officials at 4-year colleges and 1,000 chief business officials at 2-year institutions. A variety of salary and benefits questions were asked about seven key management positions, with Professor used to gauge compensation relationships among the administrative titles.

The eight college positions surveyed include:


-Chief Business Officer.

-Chief Facilities Officer.

-Chief Purchasing Officer.

-Director of Security/Safety.

-Director of Housing.

-Director of Facilities Planning.


Approximately 55% of 4-year responses came from private institutions, while 87% of 2-year responses were from public institutions. The mean full-time enrollment (FTE) of 4-year colleges surveyed is 4,646, and 3,892 at 2-year institutions.

Usable returns were received from approximately 10% of both types of institutions.

A number of factors should be considered when comparing salaries at your institution with the national figures reported. Level of expertise, experience and tenure, supplyand demand for a specific job, the college's ability to pay, and geographic salary differences will influence final results.

Bonuses on the rise While still a small number, more higher-education institutions have implemented bonus programs than in years past. In 1999-00, 8.5% of 4-year colleges and 5.6% of 2-year colleges offered bonus programs.

When asked if they were contemplating instituting a bonus program in the near future, an additional 3.5% of 4-year and 3.6% of 2-year colleges responded that they were. In making rewards, most were based on the overall institution's performance, discretionary factors, length of service, individual performance, and a combination of the above.

Both 4-year and 2-year colleges offer a compilation of benefits and perquisites as part of their total compensation package. The most popular, as reported by the majority of titles surveyed, are professional development, professional association membership, tuition for dependents and the ability to make outside income.

A variety of post-retirement insurance plans also are offered many of the administrative titles surveyed. Among them are full- and partial-paid medical/hospital, dental and life-insurance programs.

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