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February 2, 2017

Most faculty pay down slightly in AAU comparison

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

Pittsburgh campus professors’ pay ranked No. 17 in the 2015-16 academic year, down one place from 2014-15. Associate professors decreased to No. 19, down from No. 17; assistant professors fell to No. 29, down from No. 26; and instructors fell to No. 20, down one from the previous year. Lecturers rose to No. 27, up one place from the prior year.

The University’s 2015-16 peer group analysis of average faculty salaries comes with extra caveats, thanks in part to a recent expansion in the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) definition of instructional faculty.

Robert Goga, director of Institutional Research, presented the report at the University Senate budget policies committee’s (BPC) Jan. 20 meeting.

He cautioned that the 2015-16 salary analysis isn’t the same as its predecessors.

The current report:

• Includes more Pittsburgh campus faculty, thanks to a change in how the AAUP counts instructional faculty.

• Excludes librarians, at least for now, because updated salary data from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has yet to be released.

• Uses a new localized peer group for comparing regional faculty salaries.

• Uses federal data, rather than AAUP data, in the regional salary comparison.


Faculty salary data for the Pittsburgh campus peer group come from the AAUP’s annual report on the economic status of the profession.

Goga explained that up to and including the 2014-15 survey, the AAUP counted faculty as instructional if their regular assignment was at least 50 percent instructional. However, beginning with the 2015-16 survey, faculty are included if any portion of their regular assignment is instructional.

Salary averages could be affected by the addition of faculty that had never been included before, he cautioned.

The largest expansion came in the assistant professor rank, where 145 additional faculty were included, an increase of 35 percent.

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.

Goga cautioned as well that the comparison doesn’t factor in faculty members’ age, tenure status or discipline areas, or institutions’ regional cost of living differentials, all of which can affect salary averages.



The 470 full-time professors on the Pittsburgh campus ranked No. 17 with an average salary of $146,300.

Salaries for the professor rank among the 34 peer schools ranged from a high of $187,800 at UCLA to a low of $123,000 at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

In the prior year’s comparison, 456 Pittsburgh campus professors ranked No. 16 with an average salary of $144,200.

Pitt professors’ average salary increased 1.5 percent, trailing the AAU public university peer group’s median increase of 2.4 percent for the rank.

Associate professors

The 422 associate professors on the Pittsburgh campus ranked No. 19, averaging $98,200.

Across the peer group, average salaries ranged from $122,600 at UCLA to $80,800 at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

In the prior year’s comparison, Pitt’s 416 associate professors ranked No. 17 with an average salary of $96,400.

Pitt’s associate professors averaged a 1.9 percent increase; the median increase for the rank across the rest of the peer group was 2.2 percent.

Assistant professors

The Pittsburgh campus’s 561 assistant professors ranked No. 29, averaging $80,200.

Assistant professors at UC-Berkeley averaged $109,500, top among the peer group. At the bottom was University of Missouri-Columbia, where faculty in the rank averaged $69,600.

In the prior comparison, Pitt’s 494 assistant professors ranked No. 26, averaging $80,900.

Average salaries for Pitt’s assistant professors fell 0.9 percent. Across the rest of the peer group, the median salary increase for the rank was 2.8 percent.


Pitt ranked No. 20 of 21 schools with instructor rank faculty. The Pittsburgh campus’s 88 full-time instructors averaged $46,300.

At the top of the peer group was University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with three instructors who averaged $148,300, nearly twice that of No. 2 Ohio State, whose three instructors averaged $75,100.

Lowest on the list at No. 21 was the University of Arizona. Its 80 instructors averaged $39,800.

In the prior year’s comparison, 78 instructors at Pitt averaged $47,100, ranking No. 19 out of 22 AAU public schools with faculty at the instructor rank.

Average salaries for Pitt’s instructors decreased 1.7 percent while the median increase for instructors at peer schools was 4.7 percent.


Of 28 schools with faculty at the lecturer rank, Pitt was No. 27.

The Pittsburgh campus’s 207 lecturers averaged $50,500, only slightly ahead of lowest-ranking Texas A&M, whose 230 lecturers averaged $49,900. Ranking No. 1 in the lecturer comparison was UC-San Diego, with 142 lecturers who averaged $82,400.

In the prior year’s comparison, 187 Pitt lecturers averaged $49,800, ranking No. 28 of 29 AAU public peers with faculty at the lecturer rank.

Pitt’s lecturers saw an average salary increase of 1.4 percent. The median increase for lecturers at peer schools was 2.4 percent.


Lacking ARL salary data for the year, librarians curious about how their salaries compare will have to wait. Last year, Pittsburgh campus librarians ranked No. 8, continuing a five-year rise among their AAU public peers.

Rather than delay, the 2015-16 report was released in a shortened form, although a revised report may be produced after the ARL 2015-16 salary survey data are available.

Goga had no estimate on when that might be.


The 2015-16 report compares faculty salaries on Pitt’s Bradford, Greensburg and Johnstown campuses with a new benchmarking group jointly developed by BPC and the administration, as well as a different data source. (See Nov. 10 University Times.) The Titusville campus is not included.

The new peer group includes institutions in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia that are categorized as baccalaureate colleges without a professional focus in the 2015 Carnegie classification. Institutions in the New York City metro area are excluded.

The report includes 96 institutions with 110 campuses in the peer group. Salary information for individual campuses is listed except for Pitt’s three campuses, which are represented as one weighted average.

The regional campus comparison uses the most recent federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data for 2014-15, which are a year behind the AAUP salary data used previously, as well as in this year’s Pittsburgh campus analysis, Goga pointed out.

Faculty numbers are higher using the IPEDS data than with AAUP data used in the prior regional salary comparison for the same year. (See Oct. 1, 2015, University Times.)

IPEDS criteria for including faculty in the count differ from that of the AAUP, BPC member John J. Baker said.

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.


Pitt’s 27 professors on the three regional campuses ranked near the bottom of the sixth decile with average salaries of $81,400, tied with Virginia’s Randolph College. Average professors’ salaries in that decile ranged from $86,300 at University of Mount Union in Ohio to $81,300 at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Professors at the University of Richmond in Virginia had the highest average salary in the peer group, $150,700; those at Wilberforce University in Ohio had the lowest average, $42,600.

Associate professors

Pitt’s 101 associate professors on the three regionals ranked eighth of 11 in the fifth decile, with an average salary of $69,400. Averages in the decile ranged from $73,900 at Goucher College in Maryland to $68,500 at Lycoming College in Pennsylvania.

Associate professors at Washington and Lee University in Virginia had the highest average salary in the peer group, $104,300; those at Ohio Valley University in West Virginia had the lowest average, $43,300.

Assistant professors

Pitt’s 102 assistant professors on the three regional campuses ranked at the bottom of the sixth decile, tied with Wilson College in Pennsylvania and West Liberty University in West Virginia at $56,300. At the top of the decile was Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, with an average of $58,100.

Assistant professors at the University of Richmond in Virginia had the highest average salary in the peer group, $83,200; those at Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia had the lowest, $40,500.


A total of 88 institutions with 102 campuses in the peer group had instructors, lecturers or both.

The 56 instructors and lecturers at Pitt’s three regional campuses averaged $48,100, ranking near the bottom of the sixth decile. Salaries in that decile ranged from $49,300 at Juniata College in Pennsylvania to $47,400 at Penn State Lehigh Valley.

Averaging highest across the peer group was Hamilton College in New York with $79,400; lowest was Wesley College in Delaware, averaging $28,700.


The full report can be accessed at

BPC’s next meeting is set for 2 p.m. Feb. 17 in 156 Cathedral of Learning.
—Kimberly K. Barlow

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