President Decatur announces hourly wage increase


Dear Kenyon College staff and faculty,

For nearly two years, we have been making big and small adjustments to how we conduct our day-to-day operations, and our daily lives. In doing so, each of us has contributed to the successful completion of four challenging semesters. And while COVID-19 vaccines and antiviral treatments give us hope for renewed stability, there is no question that the volatility we have experienced will have a lasting effect on us all — emotionally, professionally and financially.

Even before the pandemic, we were concerned that base wages for certain clerical, retail and other hourly positions may be out of step with the local market and not fully reflective of the contributions employees make to Kenyon. So earlier this year, we initiated a comprehensive review of the pay and classification system for hourly staff. That review is complete and I am pleased to share that, effective Jan. 1, 2022, the pay ranges for many hourly positions will increase. 

In reviewing the classification system, we determined that clerical and administrative positions at Kenyon fall into two skill levels — mid and high — and that our current classifications (3, 4, 5) should be adjusted accordingly. The pay ranges for both mid- and high-level clerical positions will increase on Jan. 1 (new clerical pay ranges, PDF). The pay ranges for retail positions held by bookstore employees will increase as well (new bookstore pay ranges, PDF). Finally, we reviewed non-union hourly positions that are neither clerical nor retail against comparable positions to assess whether they, too, qualify for a mid-year market adjustment.

Eligible employees — which include employees whose hourly rate does not already exceed the top of the new range for a qualified position — will receive a letter from the Office of Human Resources with details. Please note that these mid-year adjustments are in addition to the general salary adjustments and progression increases that normally occur on July 1 each year.

While the pinch of the current economic environment is felt most acutely in households where the financial margins are slim, none of us is shielded from the rising costs and financial volatility of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are determined to prioritize general salary adjustments in the 2022-23 budget process, and I look forward to reporting more on that in the new year.

In this season of gratitude, I am grateful for the efforts — both ordinary and extraordinary — that Kenyon staff and faculty bring to their work every day. The past two years have demanded equal parts grit and grace, and I continue to be inspired by the way you display them both.


Sean Decatur