The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Why we make the Salary Guide


Every year, The Daily Illini publishes the annual salary guide. We do this because we believe in transparency.

The University has an overarching influence on the students and the rest of Champaign County. It is the largest employer in the area, and it is home to some of the highest paid employees in the state.

Our data is pulled from the Academic Administration Appointments book, or Gray Book, which is approved annually by the Board of Trustees.

The data also includes salaries from the non-Gray book, which includes employees who are civil service staff, academic professional staff and additional faculty who do not appear in the Gray book.

Employees will not be in the Gray Book if they are classified as an alternate source of position funding or non-standard appointment calendars.

Data included in the non-Gray Book excludes employees or jobs that are classified as extra help, graduate assistant, pre-doctoral fellow, academic or grad hourly, summer appointment, medical resident, student retiree or unpaid.

It also does not include jobs classified as cellphone stipend, deferred pay, lump sum, one-time pay, sabbatical supplement, temporary assignments or various payouts.

The guide does not include the pay for students or graduate assistants.

The salaries might be affected by the events throughout the year, including mid-year promotions or unpaid leaves, and do not include all compensation, such as overtime and benefits. Factors such as experience, education and specialized training can all influence how much employees are paid.

The salaries provided are public information. We used a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the salaries of University employees.

The Freedom of Information Act allows citizens to look at public officials’ salaries, budgets and other aspects of the University. Because the University is public, we have the privilege of accessing this information. Salary information for private entities, including some universities, is not accessible to the public.

There is more money being put into the core leadership of the University.

After the tumultuous tenures of people such as Mike Thomas and Phyllis Wise, we can see that the University has put a lot of money into new leadership to ensure Illinois continues to be a highly ranked and well-respected university.

In the last two years, the University has seen a new president, chancellor, athletic director and two head football coaches. The people who filled these positions are making more than their predecessors.

Some new positions were added, as well. Most notably, King Li was named the dean for the upcoming medical school. This new medical school is now working toward accepting its first class of students in 2018.

Some departments are also in flux. The American Indian Studies Program currently has no core faculty and is attempting to rebuild. The future of the College of Media, lead by an interim dean, is reevaluating what the college needs to do to stay successful.

In this edition of the Salary Guide, we have stories about locksmiths, Lovie Smith’s contract compared to the contracts of football coaches of other Big Ten universities and other stories about where University money goes.

With the state dealing with budget issues, and many students are voicing their concerns with several issues at the University.

We hope the information provided will help keep officials accountable.

The entirety of the Salary Guide can be found on The Daily Illini’s website. To find the full list of salaries online in our database, visit salaryguide.dailyillini.com.

1 Comment

  • Illinois Alum

    “We do this because we believe in transparency.” Except when it comes to your own finances. Where can students view the budget for Illinois Media Company? Despite claiming to be an “independent” newspaper, students have been paying fees that go into your budget for several years now. Why isn’t this budget published? How are we supposed to know you’re using that money wisely and in the best interest of students? You don’t exactly have a great track record for decisions related to finances (like foolishly buying a new building on green street which ended up destroying the fiscal health of your organization).

    If you’re so interested in transparency, why doesn’t the DI and Illini Media Company set the example?