MARCH 8, 2010
One-Third of Faculty Members in Higher Education Institutions Saw a Salary Decrease in FY 2009-10
The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) recently released the findings of its 2009-10 National Faculty Salary Survey. Results indicate that not only was there no median increase in the overall average salary in fiscal year 2009-10 for faculty members in colleges and universities, but also that institutions were forced to reduce the salaries of some faculty incumbents.
This finding reflects the salaries of more than 215,309 faculty members and 4,031 researchers in public and private institutions nationwide. Salaries were reported by 822 institutions, including 502 private institutions and 320 public institutions. While the median salary increase for faculty was 0% this year, this was still better than inflation which was negative. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers [CPI-U] in 2009 was 0.4% lower than in 2008.
The percentage of faculty incumbents receiving no salary increase this fiscal year is 21.2%. A third (32.6%) had their salaries reduced, with a median decrease of 3%. Faculty members at private doctorate-granting institutions were the only ones to see a real increase (1.7%) in average salary.
“We all know that the economy has had a dramatic impact on higher education and the higher education workforce, but to see that a third of faculty in the survey have experienced salary reductions this year is very troubling,” says CUPA-HR President and CEO Andy Brantley. “My hope is that college and university presidents and chief academic officers are spending time with faculty to help them understand the budget challenges and that they are engaging faculty in discussions and decision-making regarding the future of our higher education institutions. I also hope that campus leaders are making the time to celebrate significant faculty achievements and contributions.”
The three disciplines with the highest average salaries are the same for all institutions across all ranks and also the same as the last two years — Legal Profession and Studies; Engineering; and Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services. For all ranks combined, and at each rank, disciplines with the lowest average salaries are different for private and public institutions, with only one exception (English Language and Literature/Letters, which is one of the lowest paid disciplines at the assistant professor and instructor levels for both private and public institutions). To view the median base salaries for faculty members by discipline and rank across all institutions, visit http://www.cupahr.org/surveys/nfss_surveydata10.asp.
There are significant differences among disciplines in the distribution of faculty by rank. As in salary, the legal profession tops the highest percentage list for both private and public institutions, and engineering is also among the top three. At the other end of the spectrum, two of the three disciplines with the lowest percentage of full professors are the same for private and public institutions — Library Science and Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences.
About the Survey Respondents
Public institutions comprise 38.9% (320) of the 2009-10 respondents, and private institutions 61.1% (502). The responding private institutions include slightly more religiously affiliated (260) than independent institutions (242). In terms of classification, master’s colleges and universities are the largest group of participants at 45.7% (376) and includes more private than public institutions. Baccalaureate colleges comprise 27.4% (225) of the respondents. Doctoral institutions comprise 18.9% (155) of the respondents and two-thirds are public. Special Focus institutions are the smallest segment of respondents at 8.0% (66), and almost all are private institutions. About 32% (102) of the responding public institutions report that their faculties are unionized.
About the Survey Report
The 2009-10 National Faculty Salary Survey report provides a national-level summary of salaries by discipline and rank for all institutions and for public and private institutions separately. For public institutions, data also are reported separately for faculty represented and not represented by a collective bargaining unit. To order survey results, go to “Surveys” on CUPA-HR’s home page (www.cupahr.org) and click on “2009-10 Salary Surveys: Order Now.” To download a free Executive Summary for this survey, visit http://www.cupahr.org/surveys/index.asp.
Founded in 1946, CUPA-HR provides global leadership to the higher education human resource profession and the higher education community by offering essential knowledge, resources and connections to enhance individual and institutional capacity and competitiveness. Our membership is institution-based and includes 90 percent of all U.S. doctoral institutions, 70 percent of all master’s institutions, 50 percent of all bachelor’s institutions and 500 community colleges and specialized institutions. We also serve other organizations that are affiliated with higher education. We provide vital resources to more than 12,000 higher education HR professionals at close to 1,700 institutions.