U.Va. salaries: administrators, facilities staff
Howell, Sullivan have top 2014 salaries
The Cavalier Daily recently obtained data on the salaries the University pays to its non-academic, non-medical staff. The University pledged $162 million to 2,936 employees for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2013, with an average salary of $55,196. The highest paid non-academic position is the CEO of the Medical Center, R. Edward Howell, who makes $618,000. University President Teresa Sullivan received the second largest amount, earning $485,000.
Non-academic and non-medical employees range from researchers at the Center for Politics to housekeeping and maintenance workers. The group excludes professors and physicians, but includes administrators.
The biggest non-academic staff department, in terms of both number of employees and amount of total salary allotted, was Facility Management, which includes Grounds maintenance, housing maintenance, plumbers and some technicians. The University set aside $47,888,433 for maintenance, which represents 29 percent of the total funds given to non-academic, non-medical workers.
All Housing, Residence Life and Landscape salaried employees make, on average, $36,867 per year. The average salary for the all non-academic, non-medical staff is $42,529.
This difference is largely attributable to the large gap in salaries between employees in faculty or managerial positions and those in operational ones. Faculty employees in non-academic roles make about three times as much as operational ones, at $113,367. Those in operational roles make $39,855.
Individuals in the University police department make an average of $39,107, those in dining services make $31,221 and employees in the admissions office typically earn $44,145.
Information technology is among the larger and more highly paid divisions. The IT department was apportioned $18,082,699 — about 11 percent of total funds — and IT workers earn a mean salary of $72,621.
Public relations individuals also typically earned considerably more than the total staff average. As an example, the mean salary in the President’s PR office was $109,144.
Compared to the $162 million spent on non-academic, non-medical salaries, the University allots $197 million to medical staff and $220 million to academic employees. In other words, the University spent 73 percent of what it did on academic staff as it did on non-academic, non-medical staff.
This is in part explained by a nationwide trend of increased spending on non-academic services. Schools around the country are incurring larger costs for student services, which include housing, dining, athletics and recreation.
Curry Prof. Dennis Kramer said schools see potential benefits of extra services to students and use them, in part, to compete with other institutions in providing students with the best college experience.
“I think the trend is really two-fold,” Kramer said. “One, I think that institutions are more aware of the impact that these non-academic services have on the college experience. Two, there is on some level an arms race between institutions.”
These schools feel pressure to “make sure they’re not being left behind,” Kramer said. If a school’s competitor increases non-academic spending, it’s likely the school will also boost investment in these services.
Changing student expectations, however, can explain part of the growth. According to a Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission study, a growing number of students and parents expect increased amenities, which puts pressure on academic institutions to provide.
“Many institutions indicate that student housing charges have increased because students and
their parents now expect and demand modern housing with added amenities,” the report said. “The heightened expectations of students and their parents reflect a broad societal shift towards more amenities.”
Kramer shared this sentiment, saying students are realizing the value of non-academic services and the amount they can gain from them.
“I think it comes back to that students are also becoming aware of the impact that non-academic services have on their experience,” Kramer said. “Then it becomes part of the college ideal.”
This changing ideal has lead to a broad redefinition of what the college existence is and can be.
“The contemporary university is more about this holistic experience that blends academic experiences with non-academics ones,” Kramer said.
In order to meet expectations, however, schools generally need to set higher tuition prices. As the JLARC report states, growing cost from amenities “necessitates increases in student housing charges.”
Furthermore, the University and other Virginia state schools do not receive funding for many of these additional services, such as athletic recreation, which means they need to find new funds. Generally, these costs are borne by the students.
Kramer said the school does a good job generally with non-academic costs. On the whole, he said he believes the University is near or below average in terms of increasing these student service costs.
“Institutions that are spending more on non-academics are trying to distinguish themselves through non-academics,” Kramer said. “We’re not on the leading edge because we’ve already established a brand and an identity.”