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9 things you didn’t know about CUPA

MSU Denver Human Resources Director Josh Mackey explains how CUPA affects University employees.

By Josh Mackey, Ed.D.

March 15, 2017

You may be used to seeing or hearing about CUPA and know that it has something to do with how your salary is calculated. But there’s more to it than that. Here are nine things to help you better understand CUPA.

  1. "CUPA" is really CUPA-HR, which stands for College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.

  2. CUPA-HR is an organization focused on human resources in colleges and universities with several thousand members across the nation.

  3. Most people working at MSU Denver know CUPA because of its annual salary survey, which many institutions use to calculate compensation levels. CUPA gathers data on each job classification, including low, median and high salaries for each position.

  4. MSU Denver benchmarks against CUPA’s data to determine salaries. Currently, the University sets minimum salaries at 93 percent of the CUPA mean for faculty and 90 percent for administrators.

  5. CUPA collects data from all institutions, which range from small rural colleges to Ivy League universities. Since 2013, MSU Denver benchmarks against a select group of 61 peer institutions with similar missions, student populations and academic offerings.

  6. Because of MSU Denver’s practice, your salary may have increased, or could increase in the future, based on CUPA data. However, the University never reduces salaries based on this data.

  7. The association’s data is also used to determine salary ranges in the hiring process.

  8. MSU Denver human resources and budget professionals review everyone’s salary against CUPA data every year.

  9. CHEIBA, which is MSU Denver’s employee benefits trust, also uses CUPA data when assessing features of the health insurance plan.

Any more questions? Contact MSU Denver Human Resources at 303-556-3120 or submit a question online.

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