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Salary Survey
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ACL has completed four salary surveys to date. The goal of the salary surveys is to reflect the state of staffing and compensation at higher ed consortia for use in staff and CEO benefit benchmarking and also to add to the overall understanding of consortium and collaboration staffing.


2017 Survey

The 2017 ACL Salary Survey was conducted in late winter - early spring 2017, and the resulting report was made available for ACL members and non-member survey participants in September, 2017.


This is the fourth salary survey conducted by the Association for Collaborative Leadership. Other surveys were conducted in 1998, 2004, and 2011. Each survey builds upon previous surveys, and is conducted and written by a committee of volunteer members of the organization on behalf of ACL.The 2017 Higher Education Consortia Salary Survey was distributed electronically to 117 consortia chief executive officers in January 2017. The survey closed in March 2017. Thirty-five organizations responded to the 2017 survey compared to 38 in 2011, and 40 in both 2004 and 1998.


The committee that conducted and wrote the 2017 Salary Survey included Amanda Adolph Fore, Next Peak Strategy, LLC; Steven J. Harvey, Western New York Consortium for Higher Education; and Tracy Thompson, formerly of the NELLCO Law Library Consortium.

Highlights of Findings:
• 34% of responding organizations have between 6 and 10 college or university members; 51% of responding organizations have ten or fewer institutional members.

• 54% (19) of consortium CEOs surveyed were female. This is an increase from reported results in 2011, where 46% (13) were female. The 2004 survey found that 48% (19) of responding consortia CEOs were female. In 1998, 63% (25) of consortium CEOs were female.

• The 2017 survey asked how long the CEO had occupied the role. 43% of CEOs had more than 10 years in their roles; 20% reported between 6 and 10 years in their roles; 37% had been in their roles 5 years or fewer. Past surveys asked for specific years and found that in 2011 and in 2004 the average time in the role was 8.3 years; in 1998, the average years in positions for a CEO was 7.4.

• The 2017 survey results indicated that 86% of CEOs were employed full time, compared to 82% in 2011, 77% in 2004, and 63% in 1998.

• The 2017 asked for salary information in ranges, compared to exact dollars in previous years, finding the median salary range to be $100,001 to $125,000. The average salary (not ranges) in the 2011 survey was $121,065; in 2004 it was $102,327; and in 1998, the average salary for the CEO unrelated to budget was $67,093.00.

• In 2017, noting again that the question was asked in a different way, the median salary range point for female CEOs was $125,000 and the median range point for male CEOs was $175,000. The 2011 survey found the average salary for a female CEO was $97,933 and for a male CEO was $141,111. The 2004 survey reported the average salary for a female CEO was $94,786 and for a male CEO, $108,838.00. The 1998 survey showed the average salary for a female CEO, unrelated to budget, was $52,152, and for a male CEO, $79,214.00.


Members can access the full survey at this link:

2011 Survey

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