The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

Survey Results: Non-Tenure Faculty See Higher Pay Raises Than Tenure-Track Faculty

While tenure-track faculty at the nation’s colleges and universities enjoy slightly higher salaries at most ranks than do non-tenure-track faculty, those working off the tenure track are seeing bigger increases year over year than their tenure-track counterparts, according to findings from CUPA-HR’s 2017-18 Faculty in Higher Education Survey.

Among this year’s findings:

  • During the last three years, faculty salary increases overall have averaged 1.8 percent per year.
  • Non-tenure faculty continue to see higher increases than tenure-track faculty.

  • Faculty in legal professions, business and engineering have the highest salaries in tenure-track and non-tenure teaching positions. For non-tenure research positions, business, engineering and public administration are the highest-paid disciplines.
  • Health professions and nursing are the disciplines with the most new faculty hires in 2017-18.
  • More than two-thirds of department heads receive a salary supplement, and just over three-quarters are provided course relief.
  • Not surprisingly, adjunct faculty are most represented in associate’s institutions, where they make up nearly two-thirds of all faculty. Doctoral institutions have the lowest adjunct-to-full-time-faculty ratio, but pay their adjuncts more than other institution types.

“Higher ed leaders will be impressed by the amount of data in this year’s report,” says Jackie Bichsel, CUPA-HR’s director of research. “In addition to providing salaries by rank and discipline, we’ve identified critical demographic trends in academe. Institutions working to measure the success of their diversity efforts won’t find a more comprehensive source of information on representation and pay among faculty, including data on gender, race/ethnicity, age and years in rank.” (Read an overview of the report.)

A total of 238,698 full-time faculty positions were reported for this year’s Faculty in Higher Education Survey. Supplemental salary and course relief data were collected on 9,419 department heads. Salary data on more than 70,000 adjunct faculty were collected in aggregate form. CUPA-HR’s Faculty in Higher Education Survey is the only 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, information on data collected and options for purchasing the survey report and DataOnDemand, visit the Faculty in Higher Education web page.