Monday, December 8, 2014

Down the Ladder

Mercer - a compensation consulting firm - was asked by UCOP to perform a study comparing total compensation (salary plus benefits) of ladder-rank faculty (excluding med school faculty on separate comp plans) with the comparison-8 universities.  The use of the comparison-8 has a long history at UC but the standard comparison made was always salary.  Benefits were not routinely added.  Part of the reason for the exclusion was that valuing benefits is more complicated than making straight dollar comparisons of cash salary.  As UC salaries began to lag, it was commonly said that benefits (though unmeasured) were generous and so the sum of salary plus benefits offset the seeming gap.  The latest Mercer study, however, indicates that this bit of folk wisdom is no longer correct.  There was a UC lag found in total compensation and - overall - benefits are no longer generous compared to the other universities.  (Retiree health was the main exception; watch out retirees!  The wolves will be circling.)  Although the pay gap varies, all ranks are behind as can be seen on the chart below: [Click on the image to enlarge.]
You can find a set of slides summarizing the Mercer study at the link below: [Thanks to Michael Meranze for forwarding the slides.]

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