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January 11, 2018

Average Faculty Salaries Show Little Change Over Past Year

Average salaries for all ranks of instructional faculty on the University’s Pittsburgh campus remained relatively steady in an annual comparison of faculty pay at the 34 U.S. public Association of American Universities (AAU) institutions.

Robert Goga, director of the Office of Institutional Research, presented one of the two reports at the University Senate budget policies committee’s (BPC) Dec. 8 meeting.

Pittsburgh campus professors’ pay ranked No. 18 in the 2016-17 academic year, down one place from 2015-16. Associate professors and assistant professors remained at No. 19 and No. 29, respectively; and instructors rose to No. 19, up one from the previous year. Lecturers fell to No. 28, down one place from the prior year.

“The last few years the University has been designating funds toward making up the gap for lecturers and instructors, but so far those efforts have not been successful at improving the pay for faculty at those ranks relative to our peer benchmarks,” said Tyler Bickford, committee secretary and a faculty member in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

“The effort to better align the salaries of instructors and lecturers with our AAU peers remains ongoing, and is but one of several initiatives we are pursuing to support faculty who are outside the tenure stream,” said David DeJong, executive vice provost. “Other initiatives include the conversion of recurring part-time visiting appointments into full-time appointments, and the establishment of paths to promotion for all faculty outside the tenure stream.”

Faculty salary data for the Pittsburgh campus peer group come from the American Association of University Professors’ (AAUP) annual report on the economic status of the profession.

Customary caveats continue to apply: Faculty salaries are converted to a nine-month equivalent using a factor of 0.818181 for 12-month salaries, and medical school faculty are excluded.

Visiting faculty members are scattered among the categories. Starting with the next iteration of this report, all visiting faculty members will be classified as instructors, said Goga.

Pittsburgh Campus Salaries


The 470 full-time professors on the Pittsburgh campus ranked No. 18 with an average salary of $149,400.

In the prior year’s comparison, 470 Pittsburgh campus professors ranked No. 17 with an average salary of $146,300.

Associate Professors

The 419 associate professors on the Pittsburgh campus ranked No. 19, averaging $99,900.

In the prior year’s comparison, Pitt’s 422 associate professors ranked No. 19 with an average salary of $98,200.

Assistant Professors

The Pittsburgh campus’s 574 assistant professors ranked No. 29, averaging $81,500.

In the prior comparison, Pitt’s 561 assistant professors ranked No. 29, averaging $80,200.


Pitt ranked No. 19 of 21 schools with instructor rank faculty. The Pittsburgh campus’s 82 full-time instructors averaged $44,900.

In the prior year’s comparison, 88 instructors at Pitt averaged $46,300, ranking No. 20 out of 21 AAU public schools with faculty at the instructor rank.


Of 29 schools with faculty at the lecturer rank, Pitt was No. 28. The Pittsburgh campus’s 217 lecturers averaged $51,600.

In the prior year’s comparison, 207 Pitt lecturers averaged $50,500, ranking No. 27 of 28 AAU public peers.

Regional Campus Salaries

The 2016-17 report compares faculty salaries on Pitt’s Bradford, Greensburg and Johnstown campuses.

The report includes 96 institutions with 110 campuses in the peer group. Pitt’s three campuses are represented as one weighted average.

The regional campus comparison uses the most recent federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data for 2015-16, which are a year behind the AAUP salary data used in this year’s Pittsburgh campus analysis.

Faculty salaries are calculated to a nine-month equivalent by multiplying the IPEDS average weighted salary by nine.

As in prior years, Pitt’s regional peer group is ranked in deciles with the first decile representing the top 10 percent, through the tenth decile which represents the bottom 10 percent.


Pitt’s 28 professors on the three regional campuses ranked near the bottom of the sixth decile with average salaries of $83,700.

Associate Professors

Pitt’s 103 associate professors at the three regionals ranked ninth of 11 in the fifth decile, with an average salary of $70,400.

Assistant Professors

Pitt’s 102 assistant professors on the three regional campuses ranked near the middle of the sixth decile, with an average salary of $57,400.


A total of 78 institutions with 92 campuses in the peer group had instructors, lecturers or both.

The 50 instructors and lecturers at Pitt’s three regional campuses averaged $48,000, ranking at the top of the seventh decile.

The full report can be accessed here.

Salaries Steady Despite Drops in Rankings, Per Cost-of-Living Comparison

When adjusted for cost of living, salaries for professors, associate professors and assistant professors at the University’s Pittsburgh campus fell from their most recent rankings, but salaries for instructors and lecturers remained steady.

These findings are in the cost-of-living adjusted salary report presented by Amanda Brodish of the Office of the Provost.

“This reporting reflects the responsiveness of the provost office staff to the committee’s requests — that we indeed appreciate — and reflects the tenor of collegiality that I would want to sustain between this committee and the University administration,” said Wesley Rohrer, committee chair and a faculty member in the Graduate School of Public Health.

“However, when the committee identifies a concern about the implications of a University policy or practice within the scope of the committee’s charge, we have a responsibility to voice that concern and assertively pursue a plan for remediation,” he added.

“Regarding the issue of salary alignment, our efforts to date have certainly driven progress over the past several years, and will continue,” said DeJong. “As we discussed extensively with the committee, this year we have discovered significant differences in the reporting conventions that many of our AAU peers follow. Those differences render relative comparisons problematic. As these reporting issues are resolved, we hope to gain clarity on the impact of our efforts in achieving relative gains.”

The adjusted salaries for professors and associate professors ranked in the top 15. The adjusted salaries for assistant professors and for lecturers and instructors ranked 21st and 27th, respectively. The unadjusted salaries for all classifications ranked below the median for the 34 public AAU institutions.

The salaries for the Pittsburgh campus report were derived from the American Association of University Professors’ “The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2016-17.” Cost-of-living comparisons were taken from the Council for Community and Economic Research’s ACCRA Cost of Living Index (Q1-2017).

Regional Faculty Salaries

Considering the Bradford, Greensburg and Johnstown campuses as one, the adjusted salaries for professors, associate professors and assistant professors rose slightly from their most recent rankings in the benchmark group. The adjusted salary for lecturers and instructors fell one spot.

The unadjusted salaries for professors, assistant professors, and lecturers and instructors slightly improved, while the unadjusted salary for associate professors dropped one spot.

The salaries for the regional campuses report came from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System Human Resources Survey, 2015-16. Comparisons were based on Bradford’s cost of living, which lies between Johnstown’s and Greensburg’s, and determined by referencing Sperling’s BestPlaces.

Pitt-Titusville, a two-year institution, was not included in the salary comparisons.

The full report is available here.


Katie Fike,, 412-624-1085


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