Faculty Raises Sluggish in Tough Economy

Median faculty pay did not increase this year at public colleges and universities, and inched up just 2% at private institutions, according to a study from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR).

The CUPA-HR’s annual National Faculty Salary Survey covers more than 800 four-year institutions nationwide and includes salary data from well over 200,000 full-time faculty members from all manner of academic disciplines.

The CUPA-HR survey has tracked changes in faculty pay every year since 1982. It does not include community colleges nor part-time, adjunct faculty.

For all of the institutions and faculty ranks surveyed, pay increased around 1.1% this year. During the 2006-07 academic cycle, before the economic crash, faculty pay grew by about 4% across the board.

The CUPA-HR survey also ranks academic disciplines by average baseline compensation. This year’s highest-paid disciplines at all ranks were legal studies, engineering and business, in that order.

The lowest-paid academic disciplines were markedly different between public and private institutions. The lowest-compensated faculty at public universities were those teaching in disciplines like: English; foreign languages; and the visual and performing arts. The lowest-compensated at private institutions were those in: theology; law enforcement; and parks and recreation.


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