About St. John's College: Santa Fe

Tutor Compensation

The following discussion of the tutor compensation package is divided into five main parts:

  • Direct Compensation
  • Payroll Taxes
  • Indirect Payroll Compensation
  • Miscellaneous College Funded Programs
  • Miscellaneous Employee Funded Programs

"Direct Compensation" includes the several species of tutors' salaries regularly paid at the college. "Indirect payroll compensation" includes all forms of non-salary compensation that can be identified as specific sums paid regularly and routinely on behalf of specific individuals. The items in "Miscellaneous College Funded Programs" are not regarded as formal parts of total payroll compensation because they are not "regularly and routinely paid," but are included because they entail monetary outlay by the college on behalf of tutors. It should be noted that the sabbatical program has been omitted from this list because sabbaticals are an instructional matter and sabbatical assignments are treated as regular instructional assignments for compensation purposes. "Employee funded programs" are not, properly speaking, forms of compensation, since they are paid for by individuals through payroll deduction rather than by the college. They are included here because of their close relationship to other items in the compensation package.

It has long been the tradition at St. John's that distribution of available funds among the components of the compensation package be subject to the following principles:

  • No component of tutor compensation is negotiable on an individual basis.
  • Salaries and salary-related compensation are formula-based.
  • The items that comprise "indirect payroll compensation" are not thought of as "fringe benefits," that is, as corporate acts of selective philanthropy, but as regular and formal parts of "total payroll compensation."
  • Total payroll compensation (salary plus indirect payroll compensation) is the figure of primary concern in considering compensation levels and distributions, not salary alone.
  • In deliberations about the allocation of the tutor compensation budget among the categories of total payroll compensation, the recommendations of the tutors are a primary consideration.
  • Responsibility for designing the formulas according to which formula-based compensation is distributed has traditionally been entrusted to the tutors.
  • The basic structure of tutor compensation is the same for the faculty as a whole, and where components of compensation are formula-based, the formula is the same on the two campuses.

Direct Compensation
Regular Salary Overview:
The tutors' salary scale sets minimum and maximum salaries in a fixed ratio of 1:1.82.

The faculty chose to compress the ratio of minimum to maximum salaries in order to allow the college to offer the highest entry-level salaries compatible with its resources. The minimum salary (m) is set in the college budget annually. Entry salaries above the minimum are determined by formula. Progression from entry salary to the maximum salary results from the accumulation of "service credits." Progression to the maximum salary normally takes 34 years. For the first ten years ("junior service"), each service credit results in an automatic "step increase in salary" of .04m. This increase is independent of any increase in m. Thus in ten years a tutor will have reached the median position on the salary scale (1.4m). During the next 12 years ("intermediate service"), a tutor receives smaller annual step increases (.025m) and progresses to a salary of 1.7m. During the next twelve years ("senior service") a tutor progresses to the maximum salary (1.82) through step increases of 0.01m. Salary increases for tutors with more than 34 years of service credit depend exclusively on increases in "m." The intent of this three-tiered progression is to move tutors from entry salary to the median salary position as rapidly as is feasible, even though this means a decreasing rate of increase in a tutor's progression to the maximum salary position in subsequent years and a relatively small ratio of maximum to minimum salary.

Entry Salary: There are four entry salary levels:

  • 1.00m (junior service credit = 0)
  • 1.08m (junior service credit = 2)
  • 1.16m (junior service credit = 4)
  • 1.24m (junior service credit = 6)

A new tutor will be assigned one of these entry levels based on "previous salary." Previous salary is to be understood as the highest income earned from wages or salary by the appointee for any nine consecutive months of employment during the three-year period immediately preceding appointment at St. John's. The entry level of a new tutor is established by comparing his previous salary with entry salaries on the salary scale in effect the year prior to the first year of his appointment. The entry level of the entry salary most nearly equal to his previous salary determines his entry level. His entry salary is based on his entry level and the "m" value in effect during his first year of appointment. Since, in normal circumstances, the value of "m" increases each year, his entry salary will usually be higher than his previous salary.

Service Credit:

A.The following will be counted for sabbatical and service credit:

  • any time a tutor receives a salary from the college during the regular academic year;
  • any time spent at another institution as a representative of St. John's College;
  • any time unpaid leave is taken at the request of the college because of the financial needs of the college; and
  • any time unpaid leave is taken for the purpose of auditing classes, provided auditing is done faithfully.

B. Service credit will be given as follows:

  • all service greater than or equal to half-time per year will be counted as full-time;
  • all service less than half-time per year will be counted as half-time;
  • full-time unpaid leaves of absence not covered under section a. 2,3, or 4 (above) will be counted half-time; and

Service credit is not given for summer teaching assignments.

Salary Formula: Salaries are calculated according to the following formula:

Salary = m * [1 + 0.04 * (JSC) + 0.025 *(ISC) + 0.01 *(SSC)] where:

m = minimum salary
0.04 = junior service increment
JSC = junior service credits (max. of 10)
0.025 = intermediate service increment
ISC = intermediate service credits (max. of 12)
0.01 = senior service increment
SSC = senior service credits (max. of 12)

Example: Suppose a tutor whose entry salary was 1.08m received an appointment at the beginning of the second semester of an academic year. At the beginning of the 6th semester of full-time teaching, 5 junior service credits would have been accumulated in the following way:

2 JSC from entry level
1 JSC from first semester of full-time teaching
2 JSC from two years of full time teaching
5 JSC total
Salary= m * [1 + 0.04*(5)] = 1.2m

After this tutor has accumulated a total of 10 junior service credits, his salary level will remain at 1.4 until the time when he would have accrued 10 junior service credits had his entry level been 1.0. In this way all tutors will be at the same salary level, regardless of entry level, after 10 years of service at the college.

Salaries for Special Appointments

Special Part-time Tutors:

Tutors are occasionally appointed to teach part-time in either the undergraduate or graduate programs or both during the academic year under the provisions of the Polity (1/97), Article VI (3) (d). These tutors are compensated according to the same principles as regularly appointed tutors, in proportion to the number of stations they teach.


When an associate teaches a class during the academic year he is either paid for 1/3 time according to the tutor salary scale in place of 1/3 of his regular salary as an associate or he receives per semester, in addition to regular salary, a lump sum of 1/2 the entry-level salary for one station (calculated m/12), whichever yields the greater amount.

"Masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice."
- Virginia Woolf