1 Faculty Salaries: By John B. Lee John B. Lee is president of JBL Associates, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in postsecondary education policy research, located in Bethesda, Maryland. His career includes work at the local, state, and national level. Dr. Lee has published dozens of reports about financial aid, college affordability, and student access and persistence. His clients include the National Education Association, the National Center for Education Statistics and the Office of Student Financial Aid in the U.S. Department of Education, and the Lumina Foundation. Dr. Lee is currently involved in two national projects aimed at improving student graduation rates. Before founding JBL Associates in 1985, Dr. Lee worked for the Education and Labor Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Education Commission of the States, and Stanford Research International. After earning a B.A. and an M.A. from California State University at Sacramento, he received an Ed.D. in postsecondary education from the University of California, Berkeley. The recent sharp recession the defining event of the last tumultuous decade forced many colleges and universities to make major adjustments. Reduced state support for higher education, for example, eroded faculty salaries. Measured in constant dollars, state support for public higher education per full-time equivalent student (FTE) had risen from $7,580 in 1992 to a high of $8,670 in 2001 before declining to $5,906 in During the same period, enrollments jumped in all public sectors. Between 2000 and 2010, enrollments increased by: 22.5 percent in doctoral universities percent in comprehensive colleges percent in B.A. colleges percent in community colleges. The combination of decreasing state support and increasing enrollments had the greatest impact on community colleges, where spending on instruction per FTE dropped by 10.7 percent over the decade. 2 Instructional spending per FTE student in the other three public sectors measured in constant dollars increased despite the bad economic conditions. But spending on instructional activities did not always result in improved salaries for full-time faculty. The increasing cost of health insurance also affected faculty salaries. Employer-paid premiums for employees in firms with more than 200 employees increased by 77 percent between 2002 and 2012, while premiums for family coverage increased by 96 percent. 3 No similar data are available for higher education institutions
2 8 THE NEA 2014 ALMANAC OF HIGHER EDUCATION exclusively, but we may assume they incurred similar increases. Colleges committed more money to providing health insurance by increasing the employee s share of the premium, introducing plans with higher deductibles or copays, or excluding retirees from the plans. We cannot determine the amount of increase in the faculty share of medical costs, but any increase affects compensation. Decreased state support, and increased enrollments and health care costs resulted in declining faculty purchasing power. These factors also produced an increase in part-time and contingent full-time faculty coupled with a decline in tenure and tenure track faculty. FACULTY SALARIES: The average full-time faculty member (9/10- month contract) earned $77,366 in (Table 1). Faculty members teaching at private colleges and universities averaged $85,338; colleagues in public institutions averaged $73,926. The large number of faculty members at public two-year colleges where salaries are typically lower than at four-year institutions explains part of this gap. Table 2 shows the average salary of full-time faculty members by institutional type and control. Faculty in all but the associate rank at private, not-for-profit colleges and universities averaged higher earnings than colleagues at public institutions. This salary advantage was greatest in doctoral-granting institutions. Such salary disparities raise the troublesome possibility that the most in-demand faculty members may migrate from the public to the private sector. SALARY AND STAFFING TRENDS Faculty purchasing power, measured in constant dollars, fell by an average of $261 in Table 1. Average Salaries by Rank, 9/10-Month Faculty, Rank Public Private Average Professor $96,687 $118,992 $103,665 Associate 72,770 80,392 75,005 Assistant 62,692 66,166 63,732 Instructor 51,711 48,417 50,683 Lecturer 48,626 59,206 51,230 No Rank 54,920 65,152 59,269 Average 73,926 85,338 77,366 Salary and Fall Staff Surveys, Table 2. Average Salaries by Institutional Type and Control, 9/10-Month Faculty, Institutional type Public Private Average AA $62,443 $51,460 $62,345 BA 63,807 69,507 68,004 BA+ 66,037 67,007 66,495 Doctoral 81,902 95,196 86,270 Salary and Fall Staff Surveys,
3 FACULTY SALARIES: constant dollars, over the last decade (Table 3). But the loss by rank exceeded the overall average decline, except among faculty with no rank. The shift of faculty members among academic ranks due to promotion and attrition may explain this difference. Younger, lower paid faculty members usually replace older, more highly paid faculty members when they retire. The increased value of retirement portfolios, along with age, may have convinced faculty members who entered the profession in the 1960s and 1970s to leave the workforce. The relatively large purchasing power decrease among full professors supports this hypothesis. This decrease may also reflect the slowing of salary increases or the hiring of lower paid, full-time faculty in non-tenure track positions as strategies to pare back expenses. Table 4 shows the ten-year change in faculty salaries by institutional type and control. The erosion of salaries was greater in public than in private institutions. The steepest declines occurred in public community colleges and in public comprehensive colleges. Few faculty Table 3. Salaries and Change in Faculty Salaries, by Rank, in Constant Dollars, to Average Salary Rank Difference Professor $105,528 $102,241 -$3,287 Associate 76,419 74,156-2,263 Assistant 63,875 63, Instructor 61,360 50,828-10,532 Lecturer 53,944 52,719-1,225 No Rank 58,564 60,368 1,804 Average 77,627 77, Salary and Fall Staff Surveys, and Table 4. Salaries and Change in Faculty Salaries, by Institutional Type and Control, in Constant Dollars, to Public $ Change % Change Two-Year $66,111 $62,443 -$3, % Liberal Arts 65,616 63,807-1, Comprehensive 72,047 66,037-6, Doctoral 84,232 81,902-2, Private $ Change % Change Two-Year $45,192 $51,460 $6, % Liberal Arts 66,901 69,507 2, Comprehensive 68,257 67,007-1, Doctoral 96,779 95,196-1, Salary and Fall Staff Surveys, and
4 10 THE NEA 2014 ALMANAC OF HIGHER EDUCATION members teach in private two-year colleges or in liberal arts public colleges, so seemingly large changes in those sectors can be misleading. Besides changes resulting from new hires and retirements, changes in the type of institution may have affected the salary structure. A liberal arts college, for example, could have evolved into a comprehensive college over the decade. Among the 477,945 full-time faculty members on 9/10-month contracts teaching in , 70 percent taught in public institutions and 30 percent taught in private colleges and universities (Table 5). 4 The largest numbers of faculty were classified as professors; the fewest as no rank. Many community colleges do not assign academic rank to faculty members; so more colleagues at these institutions tend to be classified as instructors or as no rank. Another 94,541 faculty members taught on 11/12-month contracts in ,294 at public colleges and 31,247 at private institutions. In addition to their teaching, these colleagues might conduct research or have an administrative assignment over the summer. Combining 9/10-month and 11/12-month faculty brings the total number of full-time faculty members to 572,486. Faculty on annual contracts represented 16.5 percent of the total full-time teaching force. 5 These numbers reflect the growth of higher education over the last decade. But the 11 percent increase in the number of faculty members teaching full-time in public institutions between and lagged the 17 percent increase in public postsecondary enrollments (Figure 1). This means that either teaching loads increased or public colleges hired part-time faculty members to make up the difference, which is exactly what the evidence shows has happened. Most of the increase among full-time faculty occurred in doctoral awarding universities; the number of full-time faculty teaching in public BA and BA+ level institutions declined. Public two-year colleges showed significant enrollment increases, but very little corresponding growth in the number of full-time faculty. We see the same trend in the number of faculty teaching in private colleges and universities (Figure 2). The entire increase occurred in doctoral granting universities, while the number declined in BA and BA+ colleges. 6 Fewer fulltime faculty members had tenure or were on the tenure track, despite the increase. Figure 3 shows the change in the number of faculty by full- and part-time status between 2001 and The number of part-time faculty increased until 2009 when the increase moderated. But the number of full-time nontenure track faculty increased sharply in 2009, and the slow growth in full-time tenure and tenure track faculty declined. Table 5. Number of Full-time 9/10-Month Faculty Members, by Rank and Control, Rank Public Private Total Professor 84,140 45, ,159 Associate 74,505 38, ,434 Assistant 70,621 39, ,164 Instructor 57,418 8,540 65,958 Lecturer 20,286 7,465 27,751 No Rank 26,895 4,584 31,479 Total 333, , ,945 Salary and Fall Staff Surveys,
5 FACULTY SALARIES: Figure 1. Number and Change in the Number of Full-time Faculty, by Institutional Type, Public Institutions, to Number of Full-time Faculty 400, , , , , , , , , , ,000 93, ,314 50,000 57,596 38,169 0 AA 7,711 5,824 BA BA+ Type of Public Institution Doctoral Total Salary and Fall Staff Surveys, and Figure 2. Number and Change in the Number of Full-time Faculty, by Instutional Type, Private Institutions, to Number of Full-time Faculty 160, , , , , ,000 92,747 80,000 60,000 60,481 40,000 40,215 34,168 20,000 20,789 16, , AA BA BA+ Type of Private Institution Doctoral Total Salary and Fall Staff Surveys, and
6 12 THE NEA 2014 ALMANAC OF HIGHER EDUCATION Figure 3. Number of Faculty by Part- and Full-time Status, to Number of Faculty 1,600,000 1,400,000 1,200,000 1,000, ,000 All faculty Part-time Full-time, Tenured/ on track Full-time, Non-tenured or on track 600, , , Salary and Fall Staff Surveys, various years. ADJUNCT FACULTY Nearly 70 percent of faculty members in higher education are employed in part-time or full-time non-tenure track positions, and just over 30 percent are tenured or in tenure-track positions. 8 Adjunct faculty includes any faculty member who works outside the tenure system. Some of these colleagues are part-time; others are full-time without a tenure option. The shift to adjunct faculty is a long-term trend that, in part, reflects the increasing enrollment of part-time students and the advent of more online courses that part-time faculty members often teach. Based on a fall 2010 survey, the median parttime pay per course, standardized to a threecredit course, was $2,700. The median pay ranged from a low of $2,235 at two-year colleges to a high of $3,400 at four-year doctoral or research universities. 9 Only 22.6 percent of part-time faculty indicated they had access to health benefits through their academic employer: 4.3 percent indicated that the college or university paid for health care percent said that employee and employer shared the cost for health benefits. 3.6 percent reported that the employer provided health benefits, but that the employee bore the total cost. Most full-time faculty members without a tenure option are hired at lower salaries than tenure track colleagues. There is no definitive national salary report for these faculty members, but AAUP, which compiles our best data, reports academic year 2010 median salaries of $45,000 in public colleges and universities and $51,000 in private colleges and universities. The $47,500 average salary is well below the average paid to assistant professors ($63,732, Table 1). Another source reports full-time adjunct salaries by academic department. Excluding medical programs, salaries for this group range from a high of $99,781 for non-tenured faculty
7 FACULTY SALARIES: in engineering to a low of $42,460 in foreign languages and linguistics. 10 Still another survey estimates that an non-tenure track assistant professor earns about $50, These survey estimates vary, but they are all well below the average rate for full-time assistant professors. The recent loss of faculty purchasing power is therefore associated with declines in job security and fringe benefits. More faculty members are at risk of landing in temporary positions with limited promotional opportunities, restricted chances for professional development, and no voice in academic or departmental policy decisions. Many part-time faculty members have limited participation in retirement plans and employer provided health insurance. In no other industry are the critical professionals at the heart of the enterprise treated as casual labor. SALARIES BY ACADEMIC DEPARTMENT Full-time faculty members teaching law, business, and engineering in public and private four-year colleges and universities received more pay on average (more than $90,000 a year) than colleagues in other departments (Table 6). At the low end, faculty members teaching visual and performing arts, English and literature, liberal arts and humanities, and parks, recreation and fitness studies averaged less than $65,000 annually. SALARY BY STATE States made deep cuts in higher education funding since the start of the recession in Comparing state spending on higher education in FY 2008, the fiscal year just prior to the recession, and current FY 2013 spending, and adjusting for enrollment and inflation, analysts report that: State spending nationwide is down $2,353, or 28 percent. Every state except North Dakota and Wyoming cut funding. Thirty-six states cut funding by more than 20 percent. Eleven states cut funding by more than one-third. Arizona and New Hampshire the two states making the largest percentage cuts reduced their higher education spending by half. 12 These reductions in state funding fueled the loss of buying power in public college salaries and lead the losses to vary between states. This disparity is especially true among two-year public colleges, which rely heavily on state support. Average two-year public college salaries differed by nearly $40,000 dollars between California ($82,483) and Louisiana ($42,671) in (Table 7). The top five included California, Delaware, and New Jersey ten years ago and today. Wisconsin and Michigan moved up, and Connecticut and Nevada moved out of the top five over the decade. Ten years ago, Arkansas, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, and South Dakota ranked in the bottom five of two-year college faculty salaries. In , only Arkansas was still in the bottom five. Full-time faculty members in public fouryear colleges and universities earn more, on average, than do colleagues teaching in twoyear colleges; they also showed greater stability in relative state average salary levels (Table 8). The average faculty member earned more than $100,000 per year in New Jersey and Delaware. Faculty members in Montana and Arkansas averaged more than $40,000 less. Four of the top five states ranked by average salary in four-year public colleges and universities ten years ago remained in the top five. Iowa joined the group during that time. Nevada fell out, but remained in the top ten. The same stability exists at the bottom of the distribution. Ten years ago the bottom five were North Dakota, which moved up, South Dakota, which just missed the cut at sixth from the bottom, Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Montana dropped to the bottom in The combination of a state s wealth and a tradition of support for
8 14 THE NEA 2014 ALMANAC OF HIGHER EDUCATION Table 6. Average Salaries, Full-time Faculty, by Academic Department and Control, Four-Year Colleges and Universities, Average Salary Average Salary Discipline Public Institutions Private Institutions Legal Professions and Studies $101,110 $107,284 Business, Management, Marketing 99,195 91,809 Engineering 93,188 93,785 Computer and Information Sciences 85,456 80,167 Architecture and Related Services 77,118 77,562 Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 75,696 67,792 Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences 75,228 73,448 Biological and Biomedical Sciences 74,569 69,525 Natural Resources and Conservation 74,059 70,575 Agriculture and Related Sciences 74,036 64,047 All Fields 73,892 71,947 Area, Ethnic, Cultural, and Gender Studies 71,593 76,880 Physical Sciences 71,433 69,740 Social Sciences 71,316 73,482 Engineering Technologies/Technicians 70,981 76,435 Public Administration and Social Service 70,293 68,010 Psychology 68,580 67,503 Library Science 68,535 65,442 Communications Technologies/Technicians 68,527 61,345 Family and Consumer Sciences 67,492 67,413 Philosophy and Religious Studies 67,197 68,409 Mathematics and Statistics 67,020 66,255 Education 66,411 65,249 Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting 66,384 62,197 Communication, Journalism 64,884 65,762 Parks, Recreation, Leisure and Fitness Studies 64,716 62,081 Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Humanities 64,612 62,710 History 64,381 67,104 Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 64,080 67,600 Visual and Performing Arts 61,959 64,732 English Language and Literature/Letters 61,035 64,092 Source: College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. Faculty Salary Survey for Four-Year Colleges and Universities by Discipline, Rank and Tenure Status, 2013.
9 FACULTY SALARIES: Table 7. Average Salaries, Faculty in Public Two-Year Colleges, by State, State Average Salary State Average Salary State Average Salary California $82,483 Wisconsin 78,152 Delaware 78,076 Michigan 77,271 New Jersey 72,959 Illinois 69,724 Connecticut 69,380 Arizona 69,360 Alaska 69,050 New York 68,034 Maryland 66,447 Hawaii 65,893 Oregon 65,694 Pennsylvania 62,912 Nevada 62,852 Rhode Island 61,307 Massachusetts 60,820 Ohio $59,961 Minnesota 59,772 Wyoming 58,510 Virginia 58,275 Florida 57,183 Washington 56,049 Texas 55,229 Alabama 55,015 Iowa 54,847 Nebraska 54,521 Missouri 54,200 Maine 52,528 New Hampshire 51,726 North Dakota 51,635 Mississippi 51,098 Kansas 51,040 Utah 49,919 Idaho $49,068 Colorado 48,934 North Carolina 48,827 Kentucky 48,667 Oklahoma 48,276 New Mexico 48,201 South Carolina 48,079 Montana 47,687 West Virginia 47,337 South Dakota 46,824 Tennessee 46,591 Georgia 46,540 Indiana 44,843 Arkansas 44,163 Louisiana 42,671 Salary Survey, Table 8. Average Salaries, Faculty in Public Four-Year Colleges, by State, State Average Salary State Average Salary State Average Salary New Jersey $103,696 Delaware 101,200 California 94,528 Connecticut 90,845 Iowa 88,148 Hawaii 87,882 New Hampshire 87,768 Nevada 87,075 Massachusetts 86,747 Arizona 84,963 Virginia 81,843 Pennsylvania 81,605 Michigan 81,073 Maryland 80,458 New York 80,326 Ohio 80,243 Illinois 79,623 Indiana $79,368 Minnesota 79,115 Texas 78,672 Wyoming 78,436 North Carolina 77,797 Alaska 77,542 Florida 77,474 District of Columbia 76,767 Rhode Island 76,745 Colorado 76,655 Washington 76,557 Vermont 75,450 Nebraska 75,296 Alabama 74,631 South Carolina 74,076 Kansas 72,824 Georgia 72,190 Maine $71,978 Tennessee 70,983 New Mexico 70,797 Oregon 70,366 Wisconsin 69,730 Kentucky 69,683 North Dakota 68,689 Missouri 68,235 Oklahoma 67,764 West Virginia 66,156 Utah 66,110 South Dakota 64,864 Mississippi 64,793 Louisiana 64,517 Idaho 64,477 Arkansas 62,389 Montana 61,076 Salary Survey,
10 16 THE NEA 2014 ALMANAC OF HIGHER EDUCATION higher education strongly influenced salaries over the time span. SALARIES BY SEX Women faculty members continue to lag men in salary at every academic rank. Table 9 shows the average salary for full-time men and women faculty members at each academic level. Women earned 83 percent of what men earned, but the gap was smaller for each academic level. That s because women are more likely to be assigned to the lower academic ranks. Less than a third of faculty members at the professor rank are women; women populate at least half of the lower academic ranks (Table 10). Women may be moving up the ranks, but it will take more time before these colleagues reach equality at the top of the academic ladder. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD? Hopefully, the next decade will be kinder to faculty. The improving economy is a good sign. State revenues are rising, so are dollars going to higher education. State support still lags levels from earlier in the last decade, but signs are positive that the increases will continue. Increased state revenue was associated with increased faculty salaries in the past. A less positive indicator is a potential decline in enrollment that reflects a dip in the Table 9. Average Salaries, Faculty in Public Institutions, by Rank and Sex, Women s Salaries as a Percent of Rank Women Men Men s Salaries Professor $88,729 $101, % Associate 69,612 75, Assistant 60,084 65, Instructor 51,834 52, Lecturer 46,749 51, No Rank 52,885 57, Average 66,508 79, Salary Survey, Table 10. Number of Faculty in Public Institutions, by Rank and Sex, Percent Rank Women Men Total Women Professor 27,085 57,055 84, % Associate 32,710 41,795 74, Assistant 35,620 35,001 70, Instructor 32,144 25,274 57, Lecturer 11,428 8,858 20, No Rank 14,965 11,930 26, Total 153, , , Salary Survey,
11 FACULTY SALARIES: college age population. Also contributing to the decline: students who attended college because they were unemployed but are now returning to work. Enrollments in U.S. degree-granting institutions fell by 1.5 percent in fall 2013, after declining by 1.8 percent in But these declines are not evenly distributed. 13 Midwest and Northeast states will face declines in high school graduates through States that gain students will need to provide education to an increasingly ethnically and racially diverse population. Some colleges and universities may struggle financially as they respond to these demographic shifts. College and university administrators may continue to hire non-tenure track faculty when faced with uncertainty. These hires reduce short-term costs, while minimizing difficulty when implementing future teaching force reductions. Increases in health care costs may abate as federal policies change incentives, expand eligibility, and reduce costs. Higher education institutions, however, will probably continue to limit participation of the growing number of part-time faculty members. The long-term trend away from tenured faculty and toward part-time faculty, who typically receive less job security and fewer benefits, has persisted through good and bad economic times. NOTES 1 State Higher Education Executive Officers, Hurlburt and Kirshstein, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Data reported from IPEDS exclude faculty teaching in private, for-profit institutions. 5 In this report, full-time faculty includes only those teaching on a 9/10-month contract unless otherwise indicated. 6 Note the small number of faculty members in private AA colleges. 7 IPEDS does not collect data on tenure in even years. 8 Kezar, Coalition on the Academic Workforce, College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, This report includes only fouryear colleges. 11 Glassdoor.com, Oliff, Palacios, Johnson, and Leachman, National Student Clearinghouse, References American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Here s the News: The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, , Academe (March, 2013). march-april-2013-salary-survey. Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW). A Portrait of Part-Time Faculty Members: A Summary of Findings on Part-Time Faculty Respondents to the Coalition on the Academic Workforce Survey of Contingent Faculty Members and Instructors (2012). Author, index.html. College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). Faculty Salary Survey for Four-Year Colleges and Universities by Discipline, Rank and Tenure Status. Knoxville, Tenn.: author, Glassdoor. Glassdoor. Sausalito, Calif.: author, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, The, and Health Research and Educational Trust. Section One: Cost of Health Insurance, 2013 Employer Health Benefits Survey. Washington, D.C.: author, org/report-section/ehbs-2013-section-1. Hurlburt, S., and R.J. Kirshstein. Spending: Where Does the Money Go? A Delta Data Update, Washington, D.C.: Delta Cost Project at American Institutes of Research, June, tacostproject.org/resources/pdf/delta-spending- Trends-Production.pdf. Kezar, A. Changing Faculty Workforce Models. New York, N.Y.: TIAA-CREF Institute, https:// National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Current Term Enrollment Estimates, Fall Herndon, Va.: National Student Clearinghouse, Oliff, P., V. Palacios, I. Johnson, and M. Leachman. Recent Deep State Higher Education Cuts May
12 18 THE NEA 2014 ALMANAC OF HIGHER EDUCATION Harm Students and the Economy for Years to Come. Washington, D.C.: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, cms/?fa=view&id=3927. State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO). State Higher Education Finance, FY Boulder, Colo.: author, U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Fall Staff Survey, various years. Washington, D.C.: author, U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Salary Survey, various years. Washington, D.C.: author, 2014.