The purpose of the Living Wage Policy Study is to better understand the extent to which American higher education has implemented living wage policies and practices. The Living Wage Policy Study is designed to collect data – not available elsewhere – on the wage policies and practices of American institutions of higher education.  The project is directed by Dr. Ken Weidner, Assistant Professor of Management at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia PA.

A limited number of American colleges and universities have instituted living wage policies to provide their employees – and in some cases those of their contractors – either a living wage or a minimum wage that is higher than that required by federal/state/county laws or by municipal ordinances. Other institutions have not established wage policies, but instead engage in compensation practices that effectively provide their employees with a living wage.

Unfortunately, many of these policies and practices are not available publicly, and no single clearinghouse exists to facilitate learning from the practices of other institutions. These factors limit evidence-based research into this important area of HR practice in higher education.

This study asks each of the chief human resources officers at all four-year public and private non-profit colleges and universities in the United States about their policies. The study is not about CHROs’ opinions or personal views, but instead is focused on institutional policies and practices.