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Slight Increase in Faculty Salaries

Slight Increase in Faculty Salaries

Faculty salaries, measured in constant dollars, have been relatively stagnant since 2001–02. Among the reasons for this are declining state support, the retirement of highly-paid senior faculty members and the subsequent employment of younger faculty members earning lower salaries, and the use of adjunct and part-time faculty to teach specialized courses, provide flexibility, and reduce costs.

Because public colleges and universities are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in funding, reductions in state revenue often translate into less money being available for public college and university salaries.

Private industry salaries outstrip faculty salaries
Across all sectors, employees in private industry with a graduate degree continued to earn significantly more than full-time faculty members.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, holders of a doctoral degree who are age 25 and over and who worked full-time outside of the academy earned an average of $78,212, a 14 percent advantage over college faculty. Workers with a master’s degree earned $55,445, while those with a professional degree earned the most at $85,857.

College and university faculty members continue to earn less, on average, than private sector workers with an advanced degree beyond the master’s level.

Salary differences between public and private institutions
Full-time faculty salaries also differ by institutional type. Faculty members at public community colleges and master's institutions earn higher salaries than their counterparts at comparable private institutions. Faculty members at private baccalaureate colleges and doctoral universities, on the other hand, generally earn more than those in the public sector (Chart 2). Faculty members at private doctoral universities earn $11,142 more, on average, than do their public counterparts.

Another example of this salary disparity is the average salaries paid at public and private universities. At all of the top ten private institutions, the average salary is above $100,000. Only the top four public institutions have an average salary above $100,000. There is also one community college (Miracosta College, California), that tops the $100,000 salary mark. In addition, eight of the 10 top-paying community colleges are located in California.

Faculty members at public institutions averaged a 3.7 percent increase between 2005–06 and 2006–07 (Table 1). Full-time faculty members at private master’s and doctoral institutions saw salary increases of 3.4 and 3.3 percent, respectively. Faculty members at public baccalaureate institutions received a salary increase of 4.0 percent, the largest increase among all types of institutions.

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  • Advocate 2008 Special Salary Review
  • Advocate Special Issue 2008 (in its entirety)

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