NWACC Tips Pay Scale for Highest Positions
The five highest administrative positions on eight campuses were compared using state-appropriated line-item maximums against the administrator’s actual salary. Data was collected from Pulaski Tech in Little Rock , NWACC in Bentonville, Mid-South Community College in West Memphis, Arkansas State University in Beebe, National Park Community College in Hot Springs, East Arkansas Community College in Forrest City, Black River Technical College in Pocahontas and South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado.
Colleges who keep salaries below the line-item maximums for the top five administrators include BRTC, which pays $64,814 below; EACC, which pays $50,422 below; SACC, which pays $46,646 below and NPCC, which pays $25,094 below.
Colleges who pay more than the line-item maximums allotted by the state include PTC, which pays its top five administrators $54 above the line-item maximums; ASU, which pays 13,805 above; MSCC, which pays $33,372 above; and NWACC, which pays $79,532 above line-item maximums.
Arkansas code 6-63-309 allows institutions of higher education to exceed the maximum salary levels for certain well-qualified, non-academic, non-classified personnel. The code also specifies that payment from public funds of no more than 25 percent above the line item maximum salary can be used for no more than six percent of its workforce.
Arkansas Public Higher Education Personal Services Recommendation for the fiscal year 2010-2011 suggests line-item maximums should align salaries with similar institutions.
Arkansas Department of Education spokesperson Brandi Hinkle said in an email that ADHE does salary surveys for colleges and universities. Hinkle was unavailable at press time for further comment.
MSCC’s director of marketing and public relations, Len Grice, said very few positions can exceed the line-item maximums.
“We follow the state code when we consider paying above line-item maximums,” said Grice.
The public relations director for PTC, Tim Jones, said that PTC doesn’t have specific criteria for determining whether a non-classified employee will be paid over the line-item maximum.
“We take it on a case-by-case basis,” he said, adding that the Board of Trustees for PTC has final approval.
SACC non-classified salaries are negotiated at the time of hire, said Becky Riggs, director of human resources.
Riggs said salaries are based on qualifications, experience and the prevailing wages in their area.
The director of public relations for NWACC, Mark Scott, said in an email, “requests regarding this issue will be reviewed by our chief financial officer.”
Each of the seven colleges surveyed have the same line-item maximum for their president’s salary – $133,340. Data collected from each college shows the presidents making from $18,822 to $33,335 above, with ASU paying its president the most.
None of the BRTC top administrators make more than the line-item maximum, except for the president – who makes $26,801 above.
BRTC follows what the state mandates, said Julie Edington, BRTC’s human resource assistant.
“We normally start employees out according to experience,” she said. “Then they get whatever raises come along.”
Data showing graduation rates for two-year schools for 2008 shows NWACC at the bottom with 7.6 percent while ASU was at the top of those surveyed. ASU had a 2008 graduation rate of 30.2 percent according to AHDE reports.
All colleges rely on state funding and tuition for income, and NWACC is also supported by a local tax. Residents who live within the Bentonville and Rogers school districts pay $2.60 for every $1,000 of assessed value on their real estate and personal property tax to fund NWACC, according to the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce website.
In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, NWACC received $6.6 million from local millage, according to an October ADHE report on operating and capital recommendations.