Today the Chronicle of Higher Education released information on the "Median Salaries of Senior College Administrators by Job Category and Type of Institution, 2011-12. " Giving concerns about administrative costs contributing to rising tuition-- or at minimum, the difficulty in keeping tuition flat giving the expansion of some administrations, this is data we should all pay attention to.
How does UW-Madison stack up? A quick comparison of the salaries of a sample of 20 or so indicate that overall, Madison pays slightly better than the median salaries at doctoral-grant institutions. But that conceals some heterogeneity which may deserve further attention. What jumped out most to me is that while men like Vice Chancellor for Administration Darrell Bazzell, and Vice Chancellor for University Relations Vince Sweeney, and Dean of the Graduate School Martin Cadwalleder earn $30-60,000 more than the median for people in their position, three of the key female stars on campus earn below-the-median salaries: legal counsel Lisa Rutherford, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Joanne Berg, and Director of Academic Planning and Analysis Jocelyn Milner. Education dean Julie Underwood, and former Chancellor Biddy Martin earn(ed) well above the national median, which offset the lower salaries of women overall.
My point in making these comparisons is not to suggest that everyone isn't earning their keep 'round these parts--we are all working hard and making do with less these days--but the comparisons serve as important reminder that we should always, always remain vigilant about the specifics of salary distributions. I know Madison tries hard to attend to gender equity, and administrators at other colleges and universities should too. After all, higher education should lead the way in ameliorating inequality-- not perpetuating it!
Hat-tip to Tora Frank for able research assistance! We used 2010-11 salaries since that's what's available-- and as we all know, raises aren't happening these days...