Budget determines raises


by Kelsey Knutson

Simpson’s Form 990 shows pay increases for some of the college’s top administrators, however, those numbers could be deceiving without taking a second look.

According to both President John Byrd and Vice President of Business and Finance Ken Birkenholtz, the entire Form 990, which is an official document for non-profits showing the revenue and expenses of the college, is based on a fiscal year – June 1 to May 31 of the following year.

However, that is not the case for the salary information stated on the document.

At the recommendation of Simpson’s Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Simpson shows the salaries of its employees for a calendar year, which runs from January 1 to December 31, Birkenholtz said. This is so those numbers can be easily compared to W2 forms, something that Birkenholtz said many other colleges and businesses probably do.

So how is this so confusing?

“Salaries don’t change until September,” Birkenholtz said. “We wait to see what our official budget is.”

The Form 990 shows that Byrd made a base compensation of $227,493 from Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2009, which does not include other reportable compensation, non-taxable benefits or retirement plan or deferred compensation amounts. Even though that number is larger than the amount he made the previous calendar year, he did not have an increase in salary in the fall of 2009.

The calendar year covers two different contracts, which determines salary.

“The administration did not take an increase [in 2009],” Birkenholtz said.

Other compensation for employees may include things such as health insurance, retirement plan contributions or tuition benefits for family members. Other reportable compensation may be things such as vehicle expenses.

“[The administration] takes whatever the pool increase is, which is the increase [faculty and employees] get as well,” Byrd said.

This means the administration took a two percent increase with the rest of campus for the Sept. 1, 2010 – Aug. 31, 2011 year after not taking an increase the year before.

Byrd’s base compensation for the year of Sept.1, 2010 to Aug. 31, 2011 is $233,737 while Birkenholtz’s base compensation for the same year is $144,657. Vice President of College Advancement Bob Lane is the third highest paid Simpson employee as he will be making $143,932 for the same dates listed above.

Simpson prepares a preliminary budget that is given to the Board of Trustees for approval. That budget will not be OK’d and set in stone with final amounts until the fall, which is when the college knows the exact number of students who are enrolled at Simpson.

From there, the college determines whether or not there will be salary increases.

“The board approves the preliminary budget at the May meeting,” Byrd said. “The board produces the final budget at the October meeting. Salary is the biggest piece of our budget.”

That also determines salary increases for faculty.

When asked about the pay of Simpson’s faculty, Byrd said it’s comparable to that of other colleges, but he’s always looking for “additional dollars.”

“They’re comparable but not as strong as I’d like them to be,” Byrd said. “Our faculty deserves more and I want to find more resources for [our] faculty.”

In 2009 the faculty did not take a salary increase, however next year, Simpson expects a salary increase for all college employees for the upcoming fall.

“We have a projected two percent increase for faculty,” Byrd said.