The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

Associate’s Institutions Lead in Representation and Pay Equity for Women and Minority Faculty

As noted in previous CUPA-HR research, community and technical colleges are ahead of the curve when it comes to pay equity for women and minority staff. Now, just-released findings from this year’s Faculty in Higher Education Survey show that associate’s institutions also have higher levels of representation and pay equity for both women and racial/ethnic minority faculty than do doctoral, master’s or baccalaureate institutions.

At associate’s institutions, nearly two-thirds of faculty are women and/or minority, whereas at other institutions, women and/or minorities comprise just over half of faculty.

Pay and Representation Gaps Persist

Across higher ed as a whole, there are still large gaps in the representation and pay of women faculty, particularly Black and Hispanic women — a problem which is exacerbated at higher ranks and in department heads/chairs.

In higher ed overall, women make up 47 percent of all faculty, and racial/ethnic minorities make up 21 percent of faculty. In general, the representation of women and minorities declines with each increase in rank from new assistant professor to full professor. The decline is steepest for women who also have minority status.

However, both minority men and minority women earn higher salaries than White men at the nation’s community and technical colleges.


As far as pay, when combining all faculty in all disciplines, female faculty are paid $0.87 for every dollar made by White male faculty (based on median salary). The disciplines in which women and minorities across the board have the least pay equity include Health Professions and Public Administration/Social Service Professions

This year’s Faculty in Higher Education Survey also includes comparisons of faculty workforce data by discipline, rank and tenure status; faculty pay increases; education levels; and disciplines experiencing the greatest growth.

A total of 258,731 full-time faculty positions were reported for this year’s Faculty in Higher Education Survey. Supplemental salary and course relief data were collected on 9,980 department heads. Salary data on more than 57,564 adjunct faculty were collected in aggregate form. CUPA-HR’s Faculty in Higher Education Survey is the only major survey that provides data for the current academic year, maintains institution anonymity, collects data by rank and specific discipline, and collects comprehensive demographic data.

For a list of participating institutions, an overview of the results, information on data collected and options for purchasing the survey report and DataOnDemand, visit the Faculty in Higher Education web page.