Administrators at public colleges and universities received larger raises in 2013 than did their private-institution counterparts. That’s a key finding in the “2013-14 Administrators in Higher Education Salary Survey,” conducted by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.
The difference isn’t substantial: Senior-level public administrators saw a median increase of 2.5 percent, while those in the same jobs at private schools got 2.3 percent. But it is the first time in four years public colleges have taken the lead.
Andy Brantley, president and CEO of CUPA-HR, says, “We’re very pleased that public institutions are making salary increases more of a priority as they have found additional budget dollars.”
The upturn in the economy has led to increased state funding, which is directly funneling down to administrator salaries.
“I’m definitely seeing increases across the board in the contracts I’m negotiating,” says Raymond D. Cotton, an attorney specializing in higher ed presidential contracts and compensation. “Boards ask me all the time, ‘What should we offer? We don’t want someone getting recruited away because they’re paying more than we are.’ ”
“We hope it’s not a fluke, but only 25 percent of responding institutions have established targets for 2014-15,” says Brantley. “That means that 75 percent did not feel comfortable sharing their targets. While we’re pleased with the results overall, with the way the economy has bounced around for the last few years, to try to predict the future would be very short-sighted. Like everyone else, however, we remain cautiously optimistic.”