Press Release

July 15, 2020

New Interactive Graphic Illustrates Representation and Pay of Black Higher Education Workforce

Representation and pay of Black employees across the higher education workforce varies considerably depending on the type of position. To highlight this challenge, the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) has created an interactive graphic that encourages institutions to explore workforce data from the past five years.

The graphic looks at the workforce across four categories — administrative, faculty, professional and staff — and illustrates the pay ratio, median salary and representation of Black employees relative to White employees.

Key findings include:

  • Higher education is doing relatively well on representation and pay of Black professionals, but it has much room to improve representation and pay of Black employees in other areas.
  • Black employees are underrepresented in administrative and faculty positions, the positions with the highest pay in higher ed.
  • Most Black higher education employees are in staff positions, the positions with the lowest pay and lowest pay equity in higher ed.
  • When Black employees hold administrative positions, which are the highest-paying position type in higher ed, they are paid less relative to their White colleagues.

“These data demonstrate a strong need to recruit more Black administrators and faculty and improve pay equity for Black administrators and staff,” said Andy Brantley, CUPA-HR’s president and CEO. “We must also create pathways for Black professionals to advance to administrative roles and encourage Black students to consider teaching and research as their career path.”

In addition to illustrating the disparities, the graphic outlines specific steps to help improve pay equity and representation on higher ed campuses.

Explore the Black and White Higher Education Workforce interactive graphic or learn more about CUPA-HR’s diversity, equity and inclusion resources.


CUPA-HR is higher ed HR. We serve higher education by providing the knowledge, resources, advocacy and connections to achieve organizational and workforce excellence. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and serving over 30,000 HR professionals and other campus leaders at more than 2,000 member institutions and organizations around the country and abroad, the association offers learning and professional development programs, higher education salary and benefits data, extensive online resources and just-in-time regulatory and legislative information.

CUPA-HR is the recognized authority on compensation surveys for higher education, designed by higher ed HR professionals for higher ed HR professionals and other campus leaders. Learn more about CUPA-HR research.

Contact Information
Erin Rosolina
Marketing Manager – Communications and Marketing


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