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Potpourri: Professor Pay Data

For us eggheads, the American Association of University Professors releases its 2010-2011 Report on the Economic Status of the Profession. Tidbits:

  1. Pay for professors at public universities nationwide increased 0.9% over last year. Pay at religious schools rose 1.8% and at private-independent schools 2.1%.
  2. Tenured and tenure-track faculty now make up less than 25% of university instructional staff, down from 45% in 1975. Three quarters of your university education is coming from contingent staff like part-timers, adjuncts, and grad students.
  3. Since AY 2008, full-time faculty at public institutions nationwide have seen a 5.4% salary increase. Their university presidents have seen an 11.5% increase (see Table E).
  4. Full professors in law (not to be confused with mothers-in-law) make 59.5% more than full English professors. Biz profs net 50.9% more than English profs.
  5. Disciplines paying their profs less than the English Department: communications, foreign language and lit, education, and fine arts (see Table G).

Professor pay is still better than a lot of other jobs I might look at. Still, I'm disappointed that language, literature, and the arts, the disciplines that glue our culture together and help us make sense of living, are assigned lower market value than certain practical specializations.


  1. Wayne Pauli 2011.04.13

    Lack of private sector demand Cory. That is the trouble with those professorships. Competition with the private sector has pushed the pay of business and IT faculty. There is not that huge demand in the private sector in the areas you speak of.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.04.13

    The private sector clearly has its priorities out of whack.

  3. tonyamert 2011.04.13

    Wayne, I would posit that it has to do with the amount of available grant money that the professor could bring into the institution. There just isn't a whole lot out there for the arts. At my school, tenure and other faculty perks are primarily awarded to those who bring in lots of grant money.

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