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Virginia Business Identifies W&L as a Leader in Efforts to Raise Faculty Salaries

A story in Virginia Business singles out Washington and Lee University as a leader in acting to raise faculty salaries, an area that received extensive scrutiny in a 2013 study by Virginia’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC).

With higher education tuition rates on the rise, the study discovered that faculty salaries, by contrast, are generally down,which concerns college administrators who are trying to attract and retain qualified educators.

As quoted in the article, W&L President Ken Ruscio said increasing salaries by 8.5 percent beginning in 2008 was “very deliberate, very strategic and very intentional.” In 2007, W&L implemented a strategic plan and capital campaign, with a key component centered on raising faculty salaries to the average of the University’s peers, such as Middlebury, Amherst and Williams.

Helping W&L’s efforts was alumnus Gerry Lenfest ’53, ’55L, who provided a $33 million challenge grant to boost salaries and later a $17 million gift for faculty sabbaticals and summer research.