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Business School Administrator Salaries also Affected by the Down Economy

July 2012

By Jessica Brown, Senior Manager, Knowledge Services, AACSB Internationa

Everything at a business school is affected in some way by the economy, from salaries to program delivery methods to buildings. For faculty, the recent global economic downturn has led to smaller raises and pay freezes. Business school administrators also have seen salary changes due to the economic conditions, showing they too are not immune to environmental pressures. In this article, AACSB examines a select set of business school administrator positions by salary during the last six years. To control for survey participation bias, only the 395 schools that participated in the AACSB Global Salary Survey in all six years were included in these calculations.

The table below shows each of the selected position titles (i.e. that is for a 12-month contract period) with the mean salary for that position and year. While all of these positions have shown some salary growth throughout the last six years, the upward trend has not remained steady. The percent change of salary from year to year provides an interesting method to view these differences.

Average Salaries by Position Title and Year
Controlled Set of 395 Schools Participating in All Listed Years

Position Title:
12 Months

2006–2007

2007–2008

2008–2009

2009–2010

2010—2011

2011–2012

Dean

192.8

203.9

212.5

217.1

225

229.4

Associate Dean

150.1

153.5

159

161.3

164.5

169.2

Assistant Dean

90.4

96.5

99.4

99

101.1

104

Assistant Dean or Director of Development

103.1

106.6

110.4

114.2

114.7

117.9

Assistant Dean or Director of Finance and Administration

94.8

99.8

103.5

105.7

108.1

110.8

Assistant Dean or Director of Information Technology

89.8

97.7

101.1

101.2

104.1

105.8

Academic Department Chair

136.6

143.1

151.1

150.5

155

156.3

Assistant Dean or Director of Undergraduate Programs

81.1

83.3

85.9

88.9

88.8

90.1

Assistant Dean or Director of Graduate Programs

94.8

96.6

102.3

106

106.1

111.1

Assistant Dean or Director of Career Services/Placement

84.5

87.8

91

92.8

94.1

93.1

Assistant Dean or Director Executive Education

112.1

118.8

125.5

124.8

121.1

122.7

Assistant Dean or Director of MBA Programs

94.3

101.2

104.1

105.4

107.2

114.3

First, looking at the dean and assistant dean, the largest positive change can be seen between 2006–2007 and 2007–2008 in the initial data point. The average salary in 2007–2008 for these positions increased by at least 5% from the prior year. The associate dean position has seen less movement, with changes between 1.4% and 3% in each year. All three of these positions displayed the least salary growth in 2009–2010. The assistant dean salary average actually declined during that time, with a -0.4% change from 2008–2009 to 2009–2010.

Most of the other positions listed followed similar tracks, with the largest increases being pre-2009–2010 and remaining less than 4% after that time. However, there were a few exceptions. The table below shows the change per year.

Change per Year in Average Salaries by Position Title and Year
Controlled Set of 395 Schools Participating in All Listed Years

Position Title:
12 Months

2007–2008

2008–2009

2009–2010

2010–2011

2011–2012

Dean

5.8%

4.2%

2.2%

3.6%

2.0%

Associate Dean

2.3%

3.6%

1.4%

2.0%

2.9%

Assistant Dean

6.7%

3.0%

-0.4%

2.1%

2.9%

Assistant Dean or Director of Development

3.4%

3.6%

3.4%

0.4%

2.8%

Assistant Dean or Director of Finance and Administration

5.3%

3.7%

2.1%

2.3%

2.5%

Assistant Dean or Director of Information Technology

8.8%

3.5%

0.1%

2.9%

1.6%

Academic Department Chair

4.8%

5.6%

-0.4%

3.0%

0.8%

Assistant Dean or Director of Undergraduate Programs

2.7%

3.1%

3.5%

-0.1%

1.5%

Assistant Dean or Director of Graduate Programs

1.9%

5.9%

3.6%

0.1%

4.7%

Assistant Dean or Director of Career Services/Placement

3.9%

3.6%

2.0%

1.4%

-1.1%

Assistant Dean or Director of Executive Education

6.0%

5.6%

-0.6%

-3.0%

1.3%

Assistant Dean or Director MBA Programs

7.3%

2.9%

1.2%

1.7%

6.6%

It is likely no coincidence that the timing of these salary changes followed the global economic downturn, however; it does look like the changes are starting to move in a more positive direction in a few areas. For example, both the assistant dean or director of graduate programs and the assistant dean or director MBA programs increased strongly during the last year. And, three other positions recovered to have the largest salary increases for their respective areas since 2009–10. As the economy continues to move forward and new global salary survey data is collected later this year, it will be interesting to observe if the slowly recovering economy also is recovering for faculty and administrators at business schools.