Compensation Practices


Ursinus College compensates members of our work community adequately to attract and retain them and to promote fairness among them.

The College considers adequacy in compensation from the perspective of its position in the marketplace for liberal arts colleges.

Compensation includes both salaries and benefits. Some benefits are allocated equally to all full time employees of the College; some benefits are allocated on the basis of salary. Federal and State laws and regulations govern most of the decisions. Other statements address employee benefits at the College.


The salary portion of compensation depends on many factors. The College compares the salaries of employees with the salaries for similar positions in the market to ensure that it attracts and retains employees; the market establishes a range for salaries. The College compares salaries of
employees among others with comparable responsibilities within the College to ensure that we promote fairness.

Determining Salaries

College leaders review and adjust salaries. Each year, the President establishes targets for compensation as well as other expenses during the financial planning process.

The Board of Trustees oversees the compensation of the President and the vice-presidents in accordance with the guidelines of the Internal Revenue Service. The Chair of the Board of Trustees recommends the salary of the President. The President recommends salaries for the vice presidents. The Controller prepares a compensation study for the positions of the President and each of the vice-presidents; the study compares their compensation with similar positions in other colleges in the market. The recommendations and the comparative information are presented to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees; the Committee approves the salaries each year. The independent auditors for the College review the executive compensation system each year.

The vice presidents set the salaries of the employees in the units that they oversee. They follow the targets established by the President and the Board. They are reminded to address equity issues before allocating the remainder of the salary pool. The vice-presidents may establish algorithms for allocating the funds based on inflation in the economy and on performance in the workplace. The basis for evaluating meritorious service varies among programs and may vary among positions within programs. The vice-presidents may make the salary decisions, or they may delegate the salary decisions to others and provide oversight for the decision. The President reviews the salary recommendations and provides oversight for the process.

Although parity in the market and equity within the College establish the ranges based on statistical information, salary decisions also incorporate considerations about performance. The salary equity decisions reflect consideration of individual performance in determining fairness among individuals. The performance consideration may be implicit in the decisions about equity, or the performance aspect may be explicit through decisions about merit increases. Whether implicit or explicit, salary decisions incorporate judgments about performance over the history of the employment of an individual.

Monitoring Salaries

At least once each year, the Vice-President for Academic Affairs reviews the salary levels for faculty positions to identify both internal and external equity issues. At least once each year, the Director of Human Resources and the Vice President for Finance and Administration review the salary levels for administration and support positions to identify both internal and external equity issues. In addition, at any time during the year, vice-presidents request salary reviews if they notice situations that may indicate the need for salary adjustments to address external market or internal equity issues.

The Director of Human Resources performs salary market studies in response to requests for equity adjustments throughout the year. The Director also evaluates internal and external equity in establishing the salary range for all position requests for hiring. The vice president preparing the position request suggests a salary range for the position; the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the President approve the salary range.

Our annual reviews of faculty salaries indicate that our salaries position us well in the market, given our financial and marketing position. The data by salary rank are readily available.

Our periodic reviews of salaries for administrative positions indicate that the salaries we pay are adequate. The data are published for most positions each year by an association of college human resource personnel.

While there could be instances where salaries are not fair, our systems are designed to pay appropriately for the market and pay equitably within the College. If employees believe that
their compensation is not competitive or equitable, the practices of the College support a review to address their concerns.