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University of Iowa News Release

June 10, 2004

UI P&S Salaries Were Competitive in 2003, But 2004 Standings Are Unknown

University of Iowa salaries for professional and scientific staff were reasonably competitive with salaries at peer universities in 2003, according to a recent study, but UI officials remain concerned about keeping up with Big Ten peers.

A salary study requested by UI President David Skorton last year compared the fiscal year 2003 salaries of UI professional and scientific (P&S) staff members with those of their peers at Big Ten universities and other institutions. The study found that salaries for comparable jobs at Iowa were at least in the same range as those at other schools. Sixty-five percent of University of Iowa salaries surveyed for the report were within five percent of the comparable average salaries for the UI's peer institutions in the Big Ten.

"It's a tribute to our resourceful staff and faculty and their judicious use of resources -- both our limited state funds and the external funding they are able to generate. It is to their credit that we have kept our salaries competitive," says Kevin Ward, senior associate director of human resources at Iowa. He adds that salaries will continue to be a challenge in the current economic conditions.

Among the occupations studied in the survey were engineers, librarians, information technology professionals, accountants, research assistants and program associates. There were also some classifications unique to the university, including academic advisors, contracts administrators, assistant research engineers, lab coordinators and nurse managers.

"Knowing where we stood in 2003 will be useful to us as we move forward, but where we will be in 2004 and 2005 is not clear," Ward says, "particularly after another series of budget cuts this past year and conservative salary policies. This study provides us with a useful point of reference."

Ward cautioned that the report represents only one snapshot of one market, and the university has many markets in which it competes for qualified staff. Iowa is also somewhat different from many of the institutions studied. For example, not many of the institutions in the survey group have a university-owned health center. Also, most of the peer institutions are located in more major metropolitan areas. Nonetheless, Ward says, the study is positive news.

For the report, the average salaries of University of Iowa P&S employees were compared to the average salaries of employees at other Big Ten universities. The study also included data collected by the Council on Teaching Hospitals. It analyzed 186 of the UI's 472 P&S classifications, representing 2,565 of the 4,423 non-organized P&S staff members, about 58 percent of the population.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Charles S. Drum, 319-384-0048,; Program: Kevin Ward, 319-335-0052,