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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.50
Liaison Alistair Hall
Submission Date July 22, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Vassar College
PA-9: Employee Compensation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.97 / 3.00 Ruth Spencer
Associate Vice President for Human Resources
Human Resources
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of employees:
1,099

Number of staff and faculty covered by sustainable compensation standards, guidelines, or policies; and/or collective bargaining agreements:
1,099

Does the institution have employees of contractors working on-site as part of regular and ongoing campus operations?:
Yes

Number of employees of contractors working on campus:
10

Number of employees of contractors covered by sustainable compensation standards, guidelines, or policies and/or collective bargaining agreements:
0

A brief description of the sustainable compensation standards, guidelines, or policies; and/or collective bargaining agreements covering staff, faculty and/or employees of contractors:

The faculty salaries are competitive with our peer institutions which are national in scope. Salary data is collected through the IPEDS data and AAUP salary surveys. Both surveys are national in scope and include salary by discipline and starting, median and maximum salary ranges based on faculty status. Administrative salaries are set by comparable salaries from CUPA data from peer, (smaller elite liberal arts institutions) schools as well as national CUPA data. Salaries are evaluated for internal as well as external equity. Collective bargaining unit hourly wages are negotiated using NY State Dept. of Labor data, local wages from local colleges and increases supported by the negotiation process.

Though we do have employees of contractors as part of on-going operations on campus, we do not have any knowledge or say in the 'sustainable compensation' these contracted employees may or may not receive.


Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (assessing employee compensation)?:
Yes

Number of staff and faculty that receive sustainable compensation:
1,099

Number of employees of contractors that receive sustainable compensation:
0

A brief description of the standard(s) against which compensation was assessed:

Depending the whether the position is faculty, staff or administrative, Human Resources and/or the Dean of the Faculty's office work with the Senior Officers committee to review and evaluate sustainable compensation of employees. The Senior Officers represent all aspects and departments of the College. In assessing compensation they utilize data from a series databases that provide comparison data for all higher education institutions. The largest of these databases is the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, for which participation is mandatory of all institutions that receive any Federal financial assistance program funding.

For salaried positions we review sustainable and competitive compensation standards annually with respect to a grouping of 25 peer institutions in the general Northeast.

For hourly wage positions, the union negotiated contract is above the 'living wage' for Dutchess County, NY and set annual increases are covered by the negotiation process, and thus meets the criteria for sustainable compensation.

+ Date Revised: Oct. 10, 2014

A brief description of the compensation (wages and benefits) provided to the institution’s lowest paid regular, full-time employees:

The lowest paid regular employees start at $10.58. They receive health benefits, 9 days sick leave, 2 weeks vacation after one year, 13 holidays, 3 personal days, life insurance after 1 yr., access to amenities of any employee, e.g. gym, library, lectures, etc.


A brief description of the compensation (wages and benefits) provided to the institution’s lowest paid regular, part-time employees:

The lowest wage part-time employee now makes $9.00 per hour and moves up to $9.18 after probation. Part-time employees must work 20 hours or more to receive health care benefits. Sick time is accrued at a rate of four hours for every 346.67 hours paid up to 16 hours per year. If employees regularly work 20 hours or more they receive pro-rated benefits of full time employees.


A brief description of the compensation (wages and benefits) provided to the institution’s lowest paid temporary (non-regular) staff:

We do contract that the temp. will receive the beginning salary that Vassar pays it's own staff. Temps do not receive any benefits from the temp agency.


A brief description of the compensation (wages and benefits) provided to the institution’s lowest paid temporary (non-regular, adjunct or contingent) faculty:

Adjunct professors, teaching one course, are paid a flat fee of $6400 without benefits


A brief description of the compensation (wages and benefits) provided to the institution’s lowest paid student employees (graduate and/or undergraduate, as applicable):

For the 2013/2014 academic year, Student Employment positions started at $8.00/hour. On average, freshmen may work up to eight hours per week, sophomores up to nine hours, juniors and seniors 10 hours.

*** Beginning December 31, 2013, New York State’s minimum wage increased in a series of three annual changes as follows:
$8.00 on 12/31/13
$8.75 on 12/31/14
$9.00 on 12/31/15

Last year we increased the minimum student wage to $8/hr on 12/31/13. Rather than have to do this 2 more times in the middle of the academic year, we determined it was most efficient to increase the student wage to $9/hr for the 14-15 academic year.


The local legal minimum hourly wage for regular employees:
8 US/Canadian $

Does the institution have an on-site child care facility, partner with a local facility, and/or provide subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of faculty and staff?:
Yes

Does the institution offer a socially responsible investment option for retirement plans?:
Yes

The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable compensation policies and practices is available:
---

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.