Press Release

March 14, 2017

Higher Ed Presidents Seeing More Take-Home Pay, Fewer Perks
CUPA-HR’s 2017 Administrators in Higher Education Salary Report has been released, and data show that while salaries for college and university administrators increased this academic year, many saw cuts to their executive-only perks.

Higher ed administrators saw an average median base salary increase of 2.2 percent over last year. The percentage of institutions providing full subsidies for executive-only perks like housing, vehicles and club memberships dropped significantly over the year prior, likely due to ever-tightening budgets and cost-cutting measures.

Other Findings

  • The median age for higher ed administrators is 53.
  • The median tenure for higher ed administrators is four years.
  • The average tenure for a college/university president is just under six years, which is shorter than the tenure for CEOs in private industry.
  • The highest salaries are generally made by administrators who have been in their current position for fewer than five years. Administrators who have been in their current positions for longer periods of time make lower salaries, which may explain why overall tenure for administrators is short.
  • More institutions are providing deferred compensation and performance-based incentives to executive vice presidents — last year, 13 percent of VPs received deferred compensation, and 2 percent received performance-based incentives; this year, these numbers are 25 percent and 11 percent.

Data also confirm the trends we observed in our recently released research briefs — suggesting more work needs to be done to recruit and retain diverse talent for leadership positions in colleges and universities nationwide.

This year’s survey collected data from 1,125 higher ed institutions on 49,619 incumbents in 191 executive and senior-level administrative positions.

Purchase results or read an overview of this year’s Administrators in Higher Education Salary Report.

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 nearly 23,000 HR professionals and other campus leaders at more than 1,900 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, with its salary surveys designed by higher ed HR professionals for higher ed HR professionals and other campus leaders. Learn more about CUPA-HR research.

Contact Information:
Sarah Carson
Marketing Manager –  Communications and Marketing