While the debate over executive compensation rages on, pay for corporate directors has stalled or was cut back in the wake of layoffs and slowdowns across the economy, according to consulting firms and executive search firms that have looked at board of director compensation trends.

According to Towers Perrin's recently released annual director compensation survey of Fortune 500 companies, overall compensation for directors increased just 3% in 2008, compared with about 10% in recent years, rising to a median of $199,949 last year from $193,965 in 2007.

Board compensation essentially stayed flat in 2008, says Kevin Connelly, chairman of executive search firm Spencer Stuart. "It's likely to still be the case this year, with most of the corporate world still in a wait-and-see mode about the recovery."

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