Compensation Philosophy

The university’s compensation policies are designed to meet objectives allowing the university to provide a competitive compensation program that will attract and retain the best qualified employees; ensure that jobs and salaries within the organization bear equitable relationships to one another based on comparability of duties, complexity and scope of responsibilities, and that they are classified to appropriately reflect those relationships.  Additionally, the university strives to provide compensation rewards and pay systems that motivate and recognize excellent performance and ensure compliance with all federal and state laws and regulations governing pay.

Staff salaries and pay grades are reviewed on an annual basis, considering such factors as cost of living, market data analysis, workforce supply and demand fluctuations, and federal and state minimum wage guidelines, while recognizing the university’s not-for-profit status.

Administrative and executive salaries and pay grades are also reviewed on an annual basis, to ensure compliance with the key principles of the university’s compensation plan:

  • Comprehensive and aligned with the strategic plans and business objectives of the university, and supportive of its mission and values;
  • Performance oriented, rewarding administrators and executives for meeting the university’s goals consistent with its principles;
  • In total, competitive with like universities to allow the university to attract quality talent;
  • Recognizes the superlative intrinsic qualities of the university as an aid in motivation, engagement, and retention of administrators and executives;
  • Clear, easy to administer, and well communicated so that the purpose and value of each component is understood by administrators, executives and the Board of Trustees;
  • Flexible, to reflect the circumstances and issues important to the university, administrators and executives at any point in time.

The University of San Diego will target administrative and executive salaries and total compensation at market 50th percentile of comparable institutions that are

  1. similar size (current and expected),
  2. national (doctoral granting),
  3. private (Catholic/other),
  4. west coast. 

The Board of Trustees has determined a “primary” group of like institutions against which it will compare its salaries.