Adjuncts in Higher Ed: The Big Picture

October 3, 2017 3:08 pm

We know the faculty model in higher ed is changing, with part-time faculty making up more and more of the faculty workforce in institutions across the country. But what does the big picture look like in terms of adjunct numbers, bargaining power and pay? Data from last year’s CUPA-HR faculty salary surveys tell the story.

Survey Finds Pay Gaps Among Higher Ed Staff, and a Lack of Younger Skilled Craft Workers

May 17, 2017 9:30 am

What does the staff workforce look like in higher ed? How long do they stay in their positions? Are women and minorities well-represented and paid equitably? Which staff positions have the highest salaries and which have the lowest? How does this pay vary across the country? These are some of the questions we sought to answer in this year’s Staff in Higher Education Salary Survey.

Top Disciplines for New Faculty Hires in Higher Ed

April 5, 2017 9:00 am

According to data from CUPA-HR’s Faculty and Department Heads in Higher Education Salary Survey, the hottest disciplines for new faculty hires in higher ed are nursing, psychology and English language/literature. Mathematics and music round out the top five.

Higher Ed Presidents Seeing More Take-Home Pay, But Fewer Perks

March 14, 2017 9:00 am

Data from CUPA-HR’s 2017 Administrators in Higher Education Salary Survey show that higher ed administrators saw an average median base salary increase of 2.2 percent over last year. However, the percentage of institutions providing full subsidies for executive-only perks like housing, vehicles and club memberships dropped significantly over the year prior.

Why and How One University Hit the Reset Button on Performance Management

February 24, 2017 9:00 am

Performance reviews in the vast majority of organizations follow this trajectory: setting objectives, feedback, manager assessment and rating, consensus meeting, salary/bonus decisions. But does this process really work? Is it efficient? Is it consistent across the organization? Is it viewed as a value-add? Most people would answer with a resounding “no.” So what’s the solution? For Pennsylvania State University, it was blowing up its current process and starting fresh.

DOL Issues Final Rule on Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors

October 7, 2016 11:42 am

On September 30, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued final regulations implementing Executive Order 13706 (EO) requiring federal contractors and subcontractors working on or in connection with covered contracts to offer their employees up to seven days of paid sick leave per year. Although DOL has made some minor revisions to the proposed rule, the final rule remains largely unchanged and will impose significant obligations on many employers.

A Look at Diversity in Higher Ed Positions

September 27, 2016 7:32 am

female-to-male-pay-ratio Yesterday at the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2016 in Washington, D.C., CUPA-HR's Director of Research Jacqueline Bichsel, Ph.D., shared the results of a longitudinal analysis of diversity in higher education executive, administrative and professional positions. Here are a few of the highlights from her research ...

How to Use Benchmarking to Ensure Competitive Pay for Faculty

September 15, 2016 9:00 am

applesOne of the best strategies higher ed institutions can use to attract and retain talented, top-tier faculty is to offer competitive pay. And one of the best ways to ensure your institution is offering competitive pay is to benchmark that pay against other institutions. So what should you look for when benchmarking faculty salaries?

8 Common Higher Ed Positions and Their (Likely) FLSA Status Under the New Overtime Rule

June 8, 2016 2:58 pm

The most common questions we’ve fielded here at CUPA-HR headquarters in response to the new FLSA overtime rule are those related to the exempt/non-exempt status of positions like post docs, resident directors, interns, coaches and partial-year employees. With often odd hours, the nature of the work performed and the difficulty in tracking hours, these positions are giving higher ed a headache. In a recent webinar, Alex Passantino, former acting administrator of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and partner at Seyfarth Shaw, shed some light on some of these higher ed-specific positions.

All Things FLSA Overtime

May 24, 2016 9:00 am

OT-clockEmployers must be in compliance with DOL's new FLSA overtime rule by December 1 of this year, which leaves very little time for what's sure to be a lot of work. To help make your work a little easier, we've compiled several resources (including a white paper that provides guidance on classifying and compensating coaches and athletic trainers under the new rule) and are working on several different types of programming to help you with your FLSA challenges in the weeks and months ahead.

FLSA Overtime Regulations – What Are the Top Concerns for Higher Ed?

February 24, 2016 8:47 am

The February 16 webinar, "FLSA Overtime: How, When and Why to Prepare," was the most-attended webinar in CUPA-HR history, reinforcing that the topic is obviously top of mind for all of us in higher ed HR. During the webinar, we polled participants to help us more fully understand the challenges the changes would create. So what are our top concerns?

CUPA-HR Meets With Treasury to Discuss Treatment of Student Workers Under ACA’s Employer Mandate

February 22, 2016 11:09 am

On February 17, CUPA-HR, the American Council on Education and other higher ed associations met with the U.S. Department of Treasury to discuss the ongoing issues surrounding the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate as it relates to student workers on campus. The meeting was a follow-up to a January 2015 conversation wherein we provided input to the Treasury and the IRS on how institutions could calculate hours for resident assistants, undergraduate and graduate research assistants and other student workers whose hours are problematic to track.

FLSA Overtime: How, When and Why to Prepare

January 26, 2016 3:25 pm

overtime_blogStressed about the pending changes to the FLSA's overtime regulations? You're not alone! Higher ed institutions across the country are taking proactive steps to prepare for the coming changes to the "white collar" exemption. Read on to find out how you can begin to build your compliance strategy now.

Show Them the Money: An Approach to Faculty Salary Adjustments

September 28, 2015 3:30 pm

moneyAfter years of providing less-than-competitive salaries for faculty, the University of Montevallo recently set out on an endeavor that included collaboration among the finance, academic affairs and human resources departments to improve salaries for its faculty. Faculty salary data in the 2011-12 academic year for the state of Alabama indicated that Montevallo was seriously behind other public institutions in the state. The university ranked 12th in average salaries for full professors among Alabama’s 14 public institutions and 13th for assistant professors. Associate professors fared worst of all, with the institution ranking last for average salaries of that group.

4 Ways to Improve Compensation Satisfaction in Your Organization

August 12, 2015 3:38 pm

man and money and handAre there grumblings at your institution about pay? Water-cooler talk lamenting a lack of raises, perceived inequities or other comp-related issues? If yours is like the majority of organizations, the answer is probably “yes.” But how much of that chatter is based on fact and how much is born from speculation?

The Nuts and Bolts of a Pay-for-Performance Strategy

May 27, 2015 3:50 pm

nuts and bolts 300pxWhen leadership at Northeast Ohio Medical University charged human resources a few years ago with creating a new strategy for rewards and recognition, there was one clear mandate — no more across-the-board pay increases. With that direction and a pool of dollars allocated to fund five years of merit increases, HR set out to rethink the university’s approach to performance management. The outcome: a competency-based pay-for-performance system that rewards only top performers and is linked to institution-wide goals.

Does Your Total Rewards Strategy Need a Tune-Up?

May 18, 2015 4:00 pm

hand with wrench-300Compensation, recognition and rewards, professional development, benefits – all are important components of a total rewards package. Done right, an organization’s total rewards strategy can be a powerful driver for recruitment and retention. When employees feel cared about and looked after by their employer, when they feel valued and appreciated, they tend to be more productive, more loyal and more engaged. So what does your total rewards package look like? Is it in a good spot, or could it use a few tweaks?

2015 Snapshot: Women in Higher Ed Leadership

March 10, 2015 4:13 pm

CUPAHR_women_in_highered_20151-thumbWould it surprise you to hear that 72% of chief HR officers at colleges and universities are women? Or that the median salary for women in the chief HR position is 90% of the median salary for men in the same position? Because March is Women’s History Month, we thought we’d take a closer look at the data.

How Can HR Help Inform Executive Compensation Decisions?

November 14, 2014 1:20 pm

money-scales-blogAlthough governing boards are responsible for recruiting, hiring and setting compensation for university presidents, human resource leaders can provide valuable support, particularly in informing compensation decisions.

Lessons From a Compensation Structure Overhaul

October 20, 2014 12:39 pm


An outdated salary schedule, entry-level salaries that are out of sync with the market, and more than 1,000 different job titles that make equity comparisons next to impossible. Sound like a compensation challenge too tough to overcome? Think again.

In a packed session at the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2014 in San Antonio, Texas last month, Ronda Rotelli, chief HR officer, and Rand Key, senior vice chancellor, from the Lone Star College System shared their experience with a compensation overhaul and the lessons learned along the way.