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Clarke University Announces Mission-Centered Employee Compensation Plan, Sets New Guidelines for Presidential Pay

By Clarke News  |  June 7, 2021

Clarke University is taking important steps to support equity and the economic wellbeing of its employees by adopting an operating budget and long-term compensation goals that align with the University’s core value of justice: “As a community standing with others, we strive to create a society that recognizes the dignity, equality and rights of all people and to respond faithfully to one another.”

With the start of the University’s new fiscal year in June, wage adjustments have gone into effect following a pay-equity study. Essential workers such as custodial staff, campus security officers, and food service workers will be among the first to see the difference.

The mission-centered plan adopted by the Board of Trustees includes:

  1. Freezing the president’s salary at its current level while the overall compensation equity plan is implemented. Going forward, the president’s salary will be set at not more than ten times the University’s lowest-paid full-time employee. The Board will review presidential performance and compensation annually, based on satisfactory progress toward agreed-upon goals and achievement of key performance indicators.
  2. By 2023 adjusting and sustaining all Clarke University employee compensation at levels within or above the 2nd quartile of peer Iowa institutions of higher education (IHEs), reviewed annually.
  3. By 2026 or sooner, increasing the lowest hourly wage for all Clarke University full-time employees to $15/hour, reviewed annually against peer Iowa IHEs.
  4. By 2027 or sooner, adjusting and sustaining all Clarke University employee compensation at median levels or above peer Iowa IHEs, reviewed annually.

“In taking these steps, the Board is honoring a core value of Clarke and recognizing the hard work and impact that Clarke employees make every day to advance our mission of providing a life-changing education. Our students are surrounded by people who want them to succeed,” said Board Chair Jane Daly Seaberg.

One of Dubuque’s largest private employers, Clarke is committed to creating a working and learning environment that encourages current and prospective employees to stay for the long term. “We take seriously our responsibility to serve as an engine of opportunity in Dubuque and every community we serve,” stated Clarke University President Thom D. Chesney. “Paying higher wages to employees supports both them and the local communities in which they live and work. Economic wellbeing is a vital part of social equity, and these actions provide critical, visible steps towards achieving it.”