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Higher Education CBO Salaries Rise 1.8 Percent

March 19, 2014

The median salary of higher education chief business officers (CBO) rose from $168,800 in 2012-13 to $172,000 in 2013-14, according to the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR).CUPA-HR's annual Administrators in Higher Education Salary Survey collects salary data for top executive officers and other higher-level positions at public and private nonprofit higher education institutions.

Data from the 2013-14 survey show the unweighted median salary for CBOs employed at higher education institutions rose 1.8 percent between 2012-13 and 2013-14. Salaries increased by a slightly higher amount for CBOs at private institutions (1.3%) compared to public institutions (1.1%).

Salaries of CBOs also differed by institutional type, race/ethnicity, and gender. For example:

  • CBOs at doctoral-granting universities had median earnings of $250,000, compared to $175,393 at master's level institutions and $160,000 at baccalaureate-granting schools.
  • About 8 percent of CBOs were racial/ethnic minorities in 2013-14; the median salary among all minority CBOs was $193,534, versus $170,633 for white non-Hispanics.
  • Women represented roughly 28 percent of the chief business officers included in the CUPA-HR survey. The median salary of women CBOs ($163,502) was about 7 percent lower than the median for men ($176,844).

The executive summary, list of responding institutions, and select data of the CUPA-HR Administrators in Higher Education Salary Survey for 2014 and previous years are available for purchase.


Lois Oviawe
Research and Policy Analysis Intern