Equity, Diversity, and Tenure: Insights from CUPA-HR’s Higher Ed Admissions Workforce Report 

May 8, 2023

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Title: The Higher Ed Admissions Workforce: Pay, Diversity, Equity, And Years In Position

Authors: Melissa Fuesting

Source: College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) 

The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) has released a new report on the college admissions workforce, arguing that as higher education is undergoing unprecedented change, colleges and universities should take this opportunity to reconsider the future of their admissions departments. The report also highlights a need to reconceptualize key positions to encourage greater retention in crucial roles and discusses opportunities for colleges and universities to work toward greater diversity and equity in the admissions workforce.

Key findings from the survey include: 

  • There is a pay disparity for heads of admissions based on gender and ethnicity.
  • Black and White women in chief admissions officer positions are paid less than White men.
  • Asian and Hispanic or Latino employees are underrepresented in admissions positions.
  • Representation of people of color decreases from coordinators/counselors to heads of admissions.
  • Retention of admissions coordinators and counselors can be improved by reconceptualizing positions and creating a diverse workforce.

The report recommends that institutions:

  • Compare their data to the findings in the report, specifically with regard to years in position, diversity, and pay equity patterns.
  • Implement procedures to recruit Asian, Black, and Hispanic or Latino employees to the university and to admissions positions.
  • Establish processes to encourage the retention of people of color in the admissions pipeline.
  • Conduct a pay equity analysis of the admissions workforce that includes market rate data to identify areas for improvement.
  • Conduct exit or stay interviews that include questions focused on aspects of the job duties and expectations that could be altered to improve retention.

To explore findings and methodological information about the report and survey, click here.

—Alexandria M. Falzarano

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