Here’s how much WSU administrators’ salaries have grown compared to professors since 2013.

 FROM FY 2013 TO FY 2019


230 percent increase $53,000 to 175,000. Role changed from assistant liberal arts and sciences dean to vice president for diversity and community engagement.


88 percent increase $148,625 to $280,000. Role changed from associate provost for quality assurance and accountability and professor to provost and chief academic officer.


62 percent increase $110,316 to $179,478. Role changed from interim director of the Elliott School and distinguished senior fellow to vice president of strategic communications.


54 percent increase $231,000 to $358,000. Role changed from just executive director of NIAR to vice president for research and technology transfer, executive director of NIAR, and professor.


50 percent increase $123,000 to $184,500. Role changed from executive director of government relations and board of trustees to chief of staff and director of NIAR business development.


10 percent increase $330,000 to $364,323. Has remained in same role, president, whole time.

TENURE-TRACK PROFESSORS  — including associate and assistant professors — have seen an average increase of 9.5 percent to their salaries between fiscal year 2013 and 2019. That’s $73,000 to $81,000. This is including all colleges and programs.

Assistant, associate, and full professorships are the three tenure-track teaching positions. No other teaching positions were included in this comparison. Assistant professor is often the first position held in a tenure track, followed by associate, then a full professorship.


In higher education, tenure is a professor’s permanent job contract, granted typically after a probationary period of six years. A faculty member in such a probationary position is said to be in a “tenure-track appointment.”

‘Things can be accurate without being true’

All of the administration members in the salaries chart above were emailed with the chart’s numbers and asked if they would like to reply. Lou Heldman, vice president for strategic communications, replied for all, then contacted The Sunflower over the phone.

He said the salary increases are based on new roles and responsibilities. Here are some excerpts of what he said.

“If somebody is doing the same work, then of course their rate of pay is not going to go up at the same rate of someone who is doing totally different work.”

“Everybody is always making a decision in their job — am I valued here, or would I be more valued somewhere else?”

“Maybe Jr. Simon can’t dunk the ball, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a very good member of the team.”

“You get paid based on the responsibility and the contributions.”

“Things can be accurate without being true.”