A Very Slow Recovery: The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2011–12, released today, is now available. The AAUP’s annual report has been an authoritative source of data on faculty salaries and compensation for decades.
In addition to listing average salary by faculty rank and gender at 1,250 colleges and universities, the report provides an important perspective on the economic challenges facing higher education.
Here are some highlights:
The overall average salary for full-time faculty members rose 1.8 percent from 2010–11, falling well short of the increase in the cost of living during the year. At 2.9 percent, the average salary increase for faculty members who remained employed at the same institution barely kept pace with inflation. And as has been the case for many years, salaries in the private sector generally rose faster than those at public colleges and universities.
This year’s analysis debunks the myth that faculty salaries are driving tuition prices upward.
- Tuition prices have risen two, three, or four times as fast as full-time faculty salaries.
- For public colleges and universities, a major factor in tuition increases has been the withdrawal of state and local funding.
- The rise in tuition prices has coincided with rapid growth in part-time faculty appointments that pay incredibly low wages and usually do not include benefits.
This year’s report also takes another look at the compensation of college and university presidents. What signal is sent when presidential salaries continue to increase while those of faculty members are stagnating?
Collective bargaining rights have come under attack from legislators and governors in several states, who assert that public-sector workers are overpaid relative to workers in the private sector. This is not true with regard to faculty salaries, since the overall private-sector advantage continues to increase. But exactly what is the impact of unionization itself on faculty salaries? This year’s report provides a fresh analysis.
Finally, the AAUP is part of the Coalition on the Academic Workforce, which has collected new data on the compensation and working conditions of academics in contingent positions. The coalition’s initial report will be released later this spring.
Access the Full Text Report: HTML and PDF Versions Available