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Trends in Administrator Salaries at AACSB-Accredited Schools

July 2013

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

Taking a final look at some of the administration-level data gathered on the annual Global Salary Survey, the figures below show the low, average, and high salaries reported for three of the administrative position titles1 commonly reported. This data was limited to only 411 AACSB-accredited schools that participated in the Global Salary Survey in all years from 2008–2009 to 2012–20132.

The average salaries reported have continued to increase slowly during the last five years for all three position titles, with the lowest reported salaries closely approximating the same trend. The highest reported salary has been somewhat more variable with individual salary outliers appearing in some years.

For the deans' salaries, the low has increased 86.2% from a minimum of 56,700 USD in 2008–2009 to 105,600 USD by 2012–2013. During the same time period, the average salary increased 10.1% and the maximum salary increased by 8%. Across this time period, there were between 375 and 380 dean salaries reported for this controlled group of 411 schools. Please note that some schools may not have disclosed this specific data item.

Figure 1.

Next, there were between 481 and 510 positions reported as associate deans from 2008–2009 through 2012–2013 from this group of schools. The lowest salary reported for this position was 25,000 USD in 2008–2009, but had increased to 38,000 USD by 2012–2013 (52%). The average salary also showed a continuing increase, going up 8.9% from 2008–2009 to 2012–2013. The highest salaries reported at the associate dean level began at 413,900 USD and continued up slightly each year to a maximum of 467,500 USD in 2012–2013 (12.9%).

Figure 2.

Figure 3 below shows something a little different than we find at the dean and associate dean level. At the assistant dean level, while the low and average salaries have increased each year, the highest salary reported for this position title has decreased. Based on the underlying data, the highest salary reported for this title tends to vary more at the upper ends, which could imply a difference in how these positions are ranked at different schools.

Figure 3.

The lowest salary reported increased by only 6.6%, while the average showed an even smaller increase at 3.3%. As the position title reported the least often by this comparison group (only 101 to 108 total reported), individual salary variation can make a far larger visible impact on the upper and lower bounds of the data received.


1. Survey Guidelines for Reporting Position Titles

Dean Must be the dean, director, or other head of the business school with budgeting and decision responsibilities. This is intended to be the highest level of responsibility within the business unit. If your business school does not have a dean or equivalent level position, this position should not be reported.
Associate Dean This is a highly responsible position in the business unit structure. Associate deans generally report directly to the dean for the school. Positions reported here will generally have academic responsibilities, but are not responsible for or directors of a specific administration area. Associate deans often have multiple areas of responsibility at the business school.
Assistant Dean This is a responsible position in the business unit structure. Assistant deans generally report to either associate deans or directly to the dean depending on the structure at your school. This category should include assistant deans in academic areas, but not those who are responsible for specific administration areas. Assistant deans often have fewer areas of responsibility and may be less focused on academic areas than associate deans.


2. Count of Specific Positions Reported for Controlled Set of 411 AACSB-Accredited Schools Participating in the Global Salary Survey, 2008–2009 to 2012–2013

Year Dean Associate Dean Assistant Dean
2008-2009 337 481 101
2009-2010 380 492 101
2010-2011 376 489 104
2011-2012 376 500 108
2012-2013 375 510 105