Press Release

December 12, 2018

Associate’s Institutions Lead Higher Education in Representation and Pay of Women and Minorities

A recent research brief from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), A Snapshot of the Staff Workforce in Community and Technical Colleges, focuses on associate’s institutions and the composition of their workforce, the benefits they offer, and the representation and pay of women and minorities.

According to the brief, in nearly every category, associate’s institutions do a better job than other institution types (baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral) in representing and paying women and racial/ethnic minorities in various staff roles:

  • Associate’s institutions have better representation of women in administrative and professional positions, with women holding 56 percent of administrators positions and 64 percent of professional positions.
  • Associate’s institutions have better representation of minorities across all positions. Notably, minority representation among staff is at 42 percent at associate’s institutions, compared to 29 percent at other institution types.
  • Women’s pay at associate’s institutions is more consistent across similar positions, ranging from $.93 to $.94 per dollar earned by men in similar roles, as opposed to $.81 to $.96 per dollar at other institution types.
  • Overall, higher education institutions pay minority administrators more than equitably. However, associate’s institutions outperform other institutions in minority pay equity for employees in professional roles and staff roles: $.98 and $1.00 per dollar earned by white individuals in similar roles, respectively, as opposed to $.95 and $.91 per dollar at other institution types.

The brief suggests that the differences between associate’s institutions and other institution types in their workforce composition and benefits are the result of associate’s institutions’ efforts to meet the needs of their non-traditional student body, manage state budget cuts, adapt to shifting enrollments and maintain their identity and mission as community-based schools.

Additional findings from the brief include:

  • Associate’s institutions have a greater part-time/full-time staff ratio than do other institutions and a considerably greater non-exempt/exempt staff ratio — for every 100 exempt staff members, associate’s institutions have 140 non-exempt staff, compared to one non-exempt staff member per 100 exempt staff at other institutions.
  • Associate’s institutions have a lower ratio of staff to students — 6.5 staff for every 100 students compared to 11.6 staff for every 100 students at other institution types.

Read A Snapshot of the Staff Workforce in Community and Technical Colleges and check out CUPA-HR’s other research publications.

This brief was made possible with support from VALIC.


CUPA-HR is higher ed HR. We serve higher education by providing the knowledge, resources, advocacy and connections to achieve organizational and workforce excellence. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and serving more than 30,000 HR professionals and other campus leaders at more than 2,000 member institutions and organizations around the country and abroad, the association offers learning and professional development programs, higher education salary and benefits data, extensive online resources and just-in-time regulatory and legislative information.

CUPA-HR is the recognized authority on compensation surveys for higher education, designed by higher ed HR professionals for higher ed HR professionals and other campus leaders. Learn more about CUPA-HR research.

Contact Information
Erin Rosolina
Marketing Manager – Communications and Marketing


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