STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A new report says support staff salaries at three public higher education institutions in Virginia exceed the average of similar schools nationally. According to the report, the average salaries of upper- and mid-level support staff at most public higher education institutions were near or below the average of their peers nationally. Average salaries at the University of Virginia, Virginia Military Institute and Virginia Tech topped the average of similar schools nationally. The report says the primary reasons for the higher-than-average salaries appeared to be the base salaries of top executives, senior institutional officers and academic and associate deans. Virginia Tech, U.Va. and VMI tell the Richmond Times-Dispatch ( that the report’s conclusion is based on faulty peer groups. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission released the report last week.