After a short-lived recovery in 2006–07,
faculty salaries are lagging behind inflation again this year. Yet the
salaries paid to head football coaches, presidents, and other top
administrators do not seem to reflect an economic downturn. Over the past
three decades, the ranks of contingent faculty, nonfaculty
professionals, and administrators have swelled while the number of tenured
and tenure-track faculty stagnated. These are the central findings of Where Are the
Priorities? The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession,
today by the AAUP.
annual report has been an authoritative source of data on faculty salaries
and compensation for decades. Here are some highlights of this year’s report:
- Overall average salaries for full-time faculty
rose 3.8 percent this year, the same as the increase reported last year.
But with inflation at 4.1 percent for the year, the purchasing power of
faculty salaries has declined for the third time in four years.
- Long-term salary trends indicate a widening
differential between the average salaries of faculty members at private
colleges and universities and the average salaries of their colleagues
at public institutions. When public institutions struggle to attract and
retain the best faculty, our nation faces the risk of creating separate
but unequal systems of higher education.
- The salaries paid to head football coaches at
Division I-A universities are ten times as high as the salaries of
senior professors. What does this say about the priorities of these
- The gap between faculty salaries and salaries
paid to administrators continues to grow. This year’s report builds on
previous discussions of presidents’ salaries by including data for other
- Over three decades, employment patterns in
colleges and universities have been radically transformed. While the
number of tenured and tenure-track faculty has grown 17 percent, the
ranks of contingent faculty (both part and full time) and full-time nonfaculty professionals have each tripled, and the
count of administrators has doubled.
The complete report is available
on the AAUP’s Web site .
This year, for the first time, a complete set of institutional data is
available on the Web site.