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On 12 September 2013 Liberali

published an interview with presidential candidate Giorgi Margvelashvili. In the interview the presidential candidate underlined the reforms carried out in the educational sector during his ministerial term. Margvelashvili declared that he started to make changes by managing the general environment and noted:  “I have taken care of salary ranges in universities. Administration salaries cannot exceed those of professors.”

During one of the press conferences on reforms in the educational sector, Margvelashvili spoke about the importance of increasing the salaries of professors while the salaries of administrative staff should be reduced. He added: “University administration cannot have salaries that are five-to-six times higher.” Taking into consideration this statement one can suppose that when speaking of the salary ranges between administrators and professors the presidential candidate was speaking exactly of this kind of difference.

FactCheck

took interest in the salary policy of higher educational institutions established by the state (hereafter university) and decided to investigate the truthfulness of Giorgi Margvelashvili’s statement.

On 6 September 2013, Parliament amended the Law of Georgia on Higher Education. Among other issues the amendments also concerned the remuneration policy of university rectors and administrative staff. In particular, according to the new law the following formula was used for determining the remuneration of the abovementioned subjects:

Subject Method of Calculating Remuneration
Rector Professor’s highest salary multiplied by no less than 1.15 and no more than 1.35
Head of Administration Professor’s highest salary multiplied by no less than 1.10 and no more than 1.30
Head of Quality Assurance Office Associate Professor’s highest salary multiplied by no less than 1.10 and no more than 1.30
Dean Highest salary of the academic position multiplied by no less than 1.15 and no more than 1.35

In order to have the whole picture of the salary ranges of academic and administrative personnel, we addressed the main universities for information on the remuneration of their respective subjects. Except for the case of Tbilisi State University (TSU), the data below displays the situation existing before the new Law of Georgia on Higher Education entered into force.

According to the information obtained, the principle of allocating salary ranges in universities is as follows:

Tbilisi State Medical University (TSMU):

 the monthly salary of the academic staff consisted of the amount accumulated through theoretical teaching and practical educational-clinical activities conducted for students in clinics. TSMU budget covered the salary of academic staff conducting practical teaching in the university clinics while in the case of non-university (private) clinics, they were obliged to cover the salaries from their own budget.

According to the data of the first six months of 2013, the monthly remuneration of TSMU academic and administrative personnel was as follows:

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Additionally, if a rector or a dean also held any academic position, the amount envisaged for the respective academic position was added to the salary of the abovementioned subject.  Further, the income from the clinical activities (a changeable indicator) was also added to the monthly salary of the academic staff of the clinical department.

After calculating the data from the table above, it is obvious that if we use the salary formula set by the law, we can see that the administrative remuneration fund for 2012 exceeded the overall remuneration fund of the academic staff by 2.25 times.

Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University: 

the salary ranges of academic personnel are regulated by the resolution of the University Academic Council according to A and B categories (in some cases also C, D and E categories). By 2012-2013 the minimal and maximal remuneration range of administrative and academic staff was as follows:

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Provided we use the new salary formula to calculate the salary data of 2012, we can see that the administrative remuneration fund for 2012 twice exceeds the maximal remuneration fund of the academic staff. However, the standard of the salary ranges is being reserved since the new Law of Georgia on Higher Education entered into force.

It is noteworthy that the salary range varies for the faculties in Tbilisi State University. According to the Academic Council Resolution #112/2013 of 4 October 2013, the current salary range of academic personnel is as follows:

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The chart shows that the salaries differ according to the faculties. For example, the remuneration for a full professor in the Faculty of Medicine is GEL 1,280 while a full professor in the Faculty of Law gets about 2.5 times more – GEL 3,500. By 2013 the rector’s salary exceeded the salaries of full professors at certain faculties by at least four times.

Technical University: The

salary range depends upon the academic position and the language of instruction. As for administrative staff, their salary consists of an actual amount for the position as well as grants, amounts received for academic and teaching hours, bonuses and different additional income. Therefore, their monthly salary varies. Before the new Law of Georgia on Higher Education entered into force, the salary ranges for each subject were as follows:

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Therefore, according to the formula for calculating the remuneration of the administrative and academic staff, before the amendment to the Law of Georgia on Higher Education, the difference coefficient between the remuneration funds of the abovementioned subjects was 1.56.

Ilia State University:

 the salary range of administrative and academic staff was as follows for 6 August 2013:

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The remuneration funds of the rector and the head of administration were as follows:

Subject Remuneration
Dean Salary for the academic position + GEL 2,000
Head of Administration Salary for the academic position + GEL 3,000
Rector Salary for the academic position + GEL 4,000
If the subject does not occupy an academic position Salary foreseen by the open-ended contract of an assistant professor + respective additional income according to the subject

After calculating the data above, it is obvious that if we use the salary formula set by the Law, we can see that the remuneration of the rector of Ilia State University twice exceeded that of the academic staff maximum whereas the salary range of the head of administration – by 1.7 times and that of the dean – by 1.5 times. Samtskhe-Javakheti Teaching University:  

before the amendment to the Law of Georgia on Higher Education the remuneration fund of academic and administrative staff was as follows:

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Calculating the proportion between the salaries of the academic and administrative staff according to the new formula shows that the difference coefficient between the salaries of the abovementioned subjects at the Samtskhe-Javakheti Teaching University is 2.63.

Akaki Tsereteli Kutaisi State University:

 the salary ranges of administrative and academic staff is as follows:

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The above table illustrates that the remuneration funds for administrative staff at the Akaki Tsereteli Kutaisi State University equaled the amount of the salary of the academic staff multiplied by 2.28.

Sokhumi State University:  

the salary policy for administrative and academic staff was as follows:

marg7 According to the same calculations, the difference coefficient between the remuneration funds of administrative and academic staff of Sokhumi State University for 2012 was 2.3. Iakob Gogebashvili Telavi State University:

the salary policy was as follows:

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If we calculate the remuneration funds displayed in the table above taking into consideration the coefficients of the new standards that define the proportion between the salaries of administrative and academic staff, we will see that the difference coefficient between the salary ranges of the administrative and academic staff of Iakob Gogebashvili Telavi State University is 2.3.

Conclusion

We addressed all the state universities of Georgia in order to obtain information about the remuneration funds of the universities’ administrative and academic staff. Eight universities responded to our query.

On 6 September 2013 the amendments to the Law of Georgia on Higher Education defined the coefficient for calculating the proportion of the salaries of university administrative and academic staff.

Based upon the new standards for calculating remuneration funds, as well as taking into consideration the salary history of the state universities for the last several years, we can conclude that the salaries of administrative staff exceed those of academic staff by 2.6 times (and not five-to-six times as Giorgi Margvelashvili claimed). Additionally, the new remuneration policy will not give a radically different picture.

Despite not having the current situation in respect to the remuneration of funds from all state universities, we assume that the salary ranges for administrative and academic staff is in compliance with the formula defined by the new legislature on university remuneration policy.

Based upon the case of Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, we can assume that the monthly salary ranges of the academic staff have increased. The salaries of the administrative staff have also been slightly modified although this change does not make for a fundamental difference between these two funds. The salary range for a full professor’s position increased by GEL 1,000 and now equals GEL 3,400. This change, however, concerned only full professors with A-category contracts in the Faculty of Economics and Business. Since we are not aware about the exact number of academic staff according to the contract categories, we cannot say with certainty how many professors will get the increased salaries.

It should also be noted that taking into account the different salary ranges within the different faculties at TSU, there is no significant change in the overall monthly salary ranges of academic staff and the salaries of full professors of some faculties are about four times less than that of the rector.

Therefore, Factcheck concludes that the statement of the presidential candidate, “I have taken care of salary ranges in universities. Administration salaries cannot exceed those of professors,” is HALF TRUE.   Editor’s Note:  The Technical University provided information on their remuneration policy for academic and administrative staff after the article was published. For more accurate analysis we decided to revise the article according to the new data. The FactCheck verdict remains the same.