Research

Our Signature Surveys

About the Surveys

CUPA-HR has been the recognized authority on workforce surveys for higher education for more than 50 years. We started out collecting data on administrative salaries and later expanded our data collection to include faculty, professionals and non-exempt staff, as well as employee benefits. Since 2016-17, we have also collected important demographic data that offers additional insight into the composition and compensation of the higher ed workforce. Learn more about participating in the surveys.

Our signature surveys provide critical salary and workforce data to inform decision-making by higher ed HR professionals and other campus leaders. Approximately 1,300 institutions participate each year, contributing incumbent-level data that reflects the salaries, demographic information, and benefits of more than 260,000 full-time faculty by discipline and rank and more than 500,000 administrators and staff. Read our Data Use Agreement and our Data Anonymity Statement.

Learn More About the Data Each Survey Collects

Administrators in Higher Education

The Administrators in Higher Education Survey collects data on nearly 50,000 administrators in 202 senior-level administrative positions from more than 1,000 higher ed institutions. Data collected include salary, gender, race/ethnicity, age, and years in position.

Methodology | Survey Participation and Information Template | Participating Institutions

Faculty in Higher Education

The Faculty in Higher Education Survey collects data from approximately 800 higher ed institutions on more than 260,000 full-time faculty (tenure track and non-tenure track), as well as academic department heads/chairs and adjunct (pay-per-course) faculty. Data collected for full-time faculty include: tenure status, rank, years in rank, discipline (by IPEDS CIP code), salary, highest degree attained, gender, race/ethnicity, age and supplemental salary and course relief (for department heads/chairs).

Methodology | Survey Participation and Information Template | Participating Institutions

Professionals in Higher Education

The Professionals in Higher Education Survey collects data on more than 265,000 professionals in more than 400 positions from approximately 1,000 higher ed institutions. Data collected include: salary, exempt status (exempt or non-exempt), sex, race/ethnicity, age, and years in position.

Methodology | Survey Participation and Information Template | Participating Institutions

Staff in Higher Education

The Staff in Higher Education Survey collects data from more than 750 higher ed institutions on over 198,000 staff in approximately 155 staff positions (office/clerical, technical/paraprofessional, skilled craft, and service/maintenance). Data collected include: salary, sex, race/ethnicity, age and years in position.

Methodology | Survey Participation and Information Template | Participating Institutions

Benefits in Higher Education

The Benefits in Higher Education Survey collects data on a variety of benefits offerings for higher ed employees: healthcare and wellness, paid time off, tuition reimbursement, and retirement.

Methodology | Survey Participation and Information Template | Participating Institutions

Accessing the Data

DataOnDemand (DOD) is CUPA-HR's subscription-based data service, which provides not only access to the data, but also analysis and reporting tools for creating custom data comparisons. An important part of this tool is the ability to specify which peer institutions you want to include in your benchmarking. Institutions that contribute data during the data collection process receive a deep discount on the DOD subscription for the survey(s) in which they participate. CUPA-HR offers resources, tutorials and labs for those who want to use data and DOD more effectively. Learn more about DOD.

CUPA-HR also conducts its own analyses of the data to publish reports and interactive graphics that highlight important findings and trends. Some are available to everyone; others are available to CUPA-HR members only. Explore CUPA-HR's published research results.