Monday, April 12, 2010

AAUP Study -- Lowest Faculty Salary Increases in 50 Years

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has released its annual study of faculty salaries and the news is bleak. The study reports that the average increase in faculty salaries is the lowest in 50 years! Tamar Lewin reports on this study in The New York Times. The AAUP's director of research and policy, John Curtis, is quoted in the article as saying: A lot of faculty are losing ground, and the data probably underestimate the seriousness of the problems with faculty salary this year, because we’re only looking at full-time faculty and, as we’ve seen for several years, there’s an increasing number of part-time faculty, who are not included. Also, the survey doesn’t capture the effect of the unpaid furloughs a lot of faculty were forced to take this year, because the numbers we have are the base salaries agreed on at the beginning of the year, not the actual payroll results.

If you click on this link, you can actually search the data for individual institutions. The data are very revealing and provide deeper insights above and beyond that of the dismal "average" increases. For example, one can search and find disparities by gender within an institution in terms of salaries and by faculty rank across different institutions.

Speaking from my own personal experiences, a few years back my academic department had its own secretary. Now the secretary serves not only my department but another department as well as our doctoral program. So, in effect, we now have only 1/3 of the secretarial support that we had before. Plus, faculty now type their own papers and, typically, type letters of recommendation for students, as well as numerous other types of service correspondence themselves. We have even had to do most of the logistical work in bringing faculty candidates for jobs to campus ourselves.

Faculty are being asked to do more and more with less and less. When the infrastructure for education in a nation does not receive adequate support, what will the future hold?!