Daniel Nesbitt ’22
The Tripod conducted a survey of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) schools and examined the financials behind each school’s administrative personnel. Utilizing the publicly available Form 990, an IRS form filed by all tax-exempt non-profit organizations, financial data were gathered on college administrators for all the NESCAC schools. Data from Tufts University was not included as its large graduate student population could greatly affect its administrative structure relative to other NESCAC schools.
There are some limitations to the data used. First, the compensatory figures of various administrators are limited to “Officers, Directors, Trustees, Key Employees, and Highest Compensated Employees,” so some administrative officials may not be reported. In addition, the most recent data comes from the fiscal year ending in 2018, but the data and administrative structure could have changed at institutions since then.
As shown in Figure 1 above, Trinity College has eight vice presidents, the most of any NESCAC school, followed by Wesleyan University and Colby College, each with seven vice presidents. Data from Amherst College was not included as Amherst uses different nomenclature in their administrative organization. In addition to the largest absolute number of vice presidents, Trinity also has the largest ratio of vice presidents to undergraduate students, nearly double that of Williams College and Middlebury College. Trinity’s eight vice presidents received an average total compensation of just under $325,000.
The Tripod also compared the salaries of NESCAC schools’ highest-ranking admissions official in both absolute and relative terms. Trinity Vice President of Enrollment and Student Success Angel B. Perez was the second-highest paid admissions official in the NESCAC, earning $280,753 in total compensation, behind Hamilton College’s Vice President of Enrollment Management Monica Inzer who earned $295,635 in compensation. In addition, Perez’s salary proportional to the school’s endowment is the third largest behind only Connecticut College and Bates College.
Admissions data available through US News & World Report were also examined. Compared to the rest of the NESCAC, Trinity is average when it comes to the percentage of first-generation undergraduate students, with 18% compared to the average of 17.2% for the conference. In addition, Trinity has the second-highest acceptance rate in the NESCAC at 34%, eclipsed only by Connecticut College’s 38%. Trinity’s acceptance rate is also double that of rivals Wesleyan University and more than triple that of Bowdoin College. Trinity’s early decision (ED) acceptance rate is also second-highest in the NESCAC at 58%, again behind Connecticut College at 62%. These relatively high acceptance rate, coupled withTrinity’s high tuition of $59,050 for 2019-2020 have corresponded with Trinity’s US News ranking of 46, tied for last in the NESCAC. Though rankings are not perfect, they are still important.
These data indicate that the size of Trinity’s administration is larger than that of our NESCAC peer institutions. It is important to note that this data set is limited and further, more detailed data is necessary to more accurately evaluate the size of Trinity College’s administration.