Salaries for all GW employees increased by an average of 2.6 percent for the 2011 calendar year, slightly higher than similar institutions.
Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz said the University bases its salary increases on a privately commissioned compensation study that examines 16 institutions of comparable size and urban location. The University declined to release a copy of the study, but said it showed salary increases of approximately 2.5 percent across the board.
The Board of Trustees sets the amount of money available for raises before the beginning of each calendar year. This year that pool was 3 percent of the total salary base, Katz said.
University Provost Steven Lerman said raises have continued to be a priority throughout the recession in order to maintain a high-caliber faculty, adding that all GW faculty and staff were eligible for raises this year.
“We believe that we must continue to compensate our faculty and our staff appropriately in order to continue to attract and retain the best people to work here,” he said.
Despite the state of the economy, John Curtis, director of research and public policy for the American Association of University Professors, said the recession hasn’t necessarily affected all colleges and universities in a negative way.
“The recession has impacted different institutions differently and some institutions are taking advantage of that,” he said.
The University’s ability to continue giving raises is fueled by how well its finances are managed, Lerman said.
“We did not experience the major downturn in revenue and payout from the University’s endowment that negatively affected many other universities,” Lerman said.
While numbers won’t be released until April, Curtis said preliminary results for this year’s report show stagnant salaries nationwide, but find significant differences between public and private institutions as well as between different regions of the country.
“Salaries in the Northeast are quite a bit stronger than those in the West and especially in the South,” he said. “To some extent, that reflects the difference in the type of institution – there are more of the elite private institutions in the Northeast.”
Lerman said the University wants to be on par with other private Northeast schools.
“The recent increases we have been able to provide have made us more competitive with our peer group,” he said.
Madeleine Morgenstern contributed to this report