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About ICS

Founded in 2010, the Institute for Compensation Studies seeks to bridge between academic researchers and compensation practitioners to improve pay practices and societal outcomes through applied and translational research, training the talent pipeline, and expanding understanding around compensation and rewards to work.

We consider compensation broadly defined, to include all the monetary and nonmonetary (intangible) rewards that people receive for doing the work they do, in any location or employment structure. We are concerned with how rewards to work influence outcomes for companies and industries, as well as individuals and economies, worldwide.

ICS conducts cross-disciplinary research, provides student research mentorship, supports continuing education for professionals interested in pay practices, and convenes an Executives Forum network for corporate leads of total rewards. Learn more.


ICS Leadership brings together the best of interdisciplinary scholars of compensation with Cornell's renowned outreach expertise to build a community with practitioners and those who aspire to become compensation specialiists.

  • Academic Director
Professor Diane Burton is the Joseph R. Rich ‘80 Professor of Human Resource Studies and the academic director of the Institute for Compensation Studies. She is a member of the Human Resource Studies Department and has courtesy appointments in the Organizational Behavior and Sociology departments.

  • Executive Director
Dr. Linda Barrington is an economic historian, Associate Dean of Strategy and Societal Impact for the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University, and Executive Director of ILR’s Institute for Compensation Studies.

  • Director of Professional Programs
Brian Dunn is ICS' Director of Professional Programs and a lecturer in the ILR School.
Tae-Youn is Director of Research at ICS and Associate Professor in Human Resource Studies.