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April 15, 2010

AAUP’s survey shows smallest faculty pay hike in 50 years

Most full-time faculty members across the nation saw a decline in their buying power in 2009-10, according to the Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession released this week by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

In 2009-10, the overall average salary for a full-time faculty member increased 1.2 percent over last year, the smallest year-to-year increase in the survey’s 50-year history.

Many faculty members at the more than 1,200 institutions surveyed lost financial ground, given that the average salary increase fell short of the 2.7 percent inflation rate.

Continuing faculty members showed a decrease in earning power as well. Their average change in salary was 1.8 percent, well below the historical levels of about 4 percent. “Because this figure falls well short of the rate of change in the Consumer Price Index, it represents the first inflation-adjusted decrease in salaries for continuing faculty since the hyperinflation years of the late 1970s,” the survey authors stated. The survey found that two-thirds of continuing faculty members were employed by institutions where the average change in salary was below the rate of inflation — meaning that most continuing faculty have less buying power compared to a year ago.

Pay freezes at Pitt put the University’s faculty among that group. Continuing faculty at the regional campuses all showed no increases, while continuing faculty on the Pittsburgh campus showed only fractional pay increases. Professors and instructors showed a 0.4 percent increase, associate professors received a 0.6 percent pay increase and assistant professors showed a 0.7 percent increase.

The report can be found online at

Pitt’s annual salary analyses are expected to be presented to the University Senate budget policies committee soon.

Although there will be no annual salary increase analysis this year because of the salary freeze, the annual mean and median salary report for University employees is expected to be on BPC’s April 30 meeting agenda.

The annual benchmark study comparing faculty pay at Pitt to a select peer group of Association of American Universities public institutions is not expected to be ready until at least May, according to BPC chair John J. Baker.

—Kimberly K. Barlow


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