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As the fiscal year wraps up and next year's budget guidelines are finalized, Penn salaries will take a hit from the economy, though not one as severe as the blow some peer schools face.

Penn released its guidelines for 2009-2010 faculty and staff pay increases in last week's Almanac.

The guidelines recognized severe constraints on increases due to the economy and asked deans to give higher percentage wage boosts to faculty and staff with lower pay than to those already highly compensated.

Faculty and staff will receive an aggregate 2-percent salary increase next year, with individuals receiving raises between 0 and 3 percent. If current rock-bottom inflation numbers hold, the increases will outpace inflation, which was -0.4 percent in March and has stayed close to 0 percent since December.

By comparison, the 2008-2009 aggregate salary increase for faculty and staff was 3.5 percent, said Human Resources spokeswoman Terri Ryan, though inflation also averaged higher at 3.8 percent.

Senior administrators - such as the president, vice presidents and deans and senior officers - will not receive base-pay increases in FY 2010.

"Because compensation is the single largest expense in the operating budget ... we have to do something to reduce expenses," Ryan said.

Some schools, like Harvard, Stanford and Cornell universities, will have no salary increases across the board.

Still, Penn's low increases are a stark change from FY 2009, when the average professor who stayed in a similar position at Penn received $169,400, up 5.2 percent from FY 2008, according to the American Association of University Professors' annual report on faculty salaries released last week. Associate professors received $114,100, up 5.5 percent, and assistant professors received $98,000, up 5.4 percent.

According to the report, Penn had the ninth-highest full-time professor salaries this year, down from seventh last year. Associate professor salaries, however, rose from fifth place to fourth.

Ryan stressed that salary is only one part of an employee's compensation package, which includes vacation and sick time. When benefits - on average, 32.3 percent of salary - are factored in, compensation of the average Penn professor rose to $219,600 this year.

Male faculty also made an average $14,000 more than their female counterparts.

Penn bases salary guidelines on economic conditions, market trends and efforts to remain fiscally stable. Compensation at peer schools, third-party surveys and government reports also help determine annual increases to reward performance, Ryan said.

Nationally, the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources found in a survey of U.S. colleges and universities - Ivy League schools did not respond - that senior-level administrators received on average a 4-percent increase this year, mid-level administrators a 3.5-percent increase and faculty members a 3.7-percent increase.

Across departments, law, engineering and business faculty continue to earn the most, with English, philosophy and history at the bottom end.

"I don't think anyone's ever happy with their salary, but I do think people understand what's going on nationwide at this point with the economy and the University and what it needs to do," Ryan said.

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