Compensation Philosophy

The University of San Diego is a Roman Catholic institution committed to advancing academic excellence, expanding liberal and professional knowledge, creating a diverse and inclusive community and preparing leaders who are dedicated to ethical conduct and compassionate service.

The University’s compensation philosophy for Administrative and Staff positions is designed in support of the University’s mission.  It recognizes pay as one part of the University’s total compensation offering, while also recognizing the University’s not-for-profit status and the intrinsic qualities the University offers, such as the values-based, mission-driven environment, strong benefits package, and work-life balance.  This total compensation offering aids in the motivation, engagement, and retention of employees.

This compensation philosophy meets the needs of our primary constituents in the following ways:

  • University Communities Served (Students & Faculty) – Compensation programs are designed to attract and retain a high performing workforce and to be reasonable and equitable across the University while ensuring good stewardship of the University’s resources.
  • University Employees (Staff & Administrators) – Competitive total compensation, targeted at the 50th percentile of defined labor markets, is designed to motivate and recognize excellent performance and align with the needs of a diverse, multi-generational workforce.
  • University Leadership/Board of Trustees – Compensation programs are designed to align with and support the University’s mission, values, strategic plans, and objectives. The programs are based on sound business practices and compliant with all relevant federal and state laws and regulations.

Key Principles

The University’s compensation program for Administrative and Staff salaries includes these key principles:

  • Administrative and Staff salaries and pay grades are reviewed on an annual basis, considering such factors as cost of labor, market data for relevant labor markets, talent supply and demand fluctuations, and federal and state minimum wage guidelines.
  • The program is clear, easy to administer, and well communicated so that the purpose and value of each component is understood by our primary constituents.
  • The program is designed to be flexible and to reflect the ever-changing circumstances and issues important to our primary constituents.

Labor Market Comparisons

The University defines “relevant labor markets” for the purpose of comparing Administrative and Staff salaries and total compensation:

  • Staff jobs are compared to a group of comparable higher education institutions and the local labor market in San Diego, including industries both in and outside of higher education, as appropriate.
  • Administrative jobs are compared to a group of comparable higher education institutions that the University reviews and approves periodically, which are identified as private, similar size, similar industry classifications, and national (with an emphasis on the west coast). In some cases, administrative jobs are also compared to similar jobs found in general industries outside of higher education.
  • The University recognizes it has competitors (in both higher education and other industries) outside the group of comparable institutions that may need to be considered in certain circumstances.

The University reviews its compensation philosophy periodically to ensure that it can continue to attract and retain high-performing talent in support of the mission.

January 2020