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March 30, 2017

Cost-of-living comparison shows some faculty pay ranking better

When adjusted for cost of living, salaries for Pitt’s professors, associate professors and assistant professors rose above the median for Association of American Universities (AAU) public peers, but salaries for instructors and lecturers remained below the midrange target.

These findings are in the cost-of-living adjusted salary report presented by Amanda Brodish of the Office of the Provost to the University Senate budget policies committee (BPC) March 17.

The adjusted salaries for professors and associate professors ranked in the top 10, while the adjusted salaries for assistant professors ranked 16th. The unadjusted salaries for professors, associate professors and assistant professors ranked at or below the median for the 34 public AAU institutions.

When cost of living was considered, the ranking for instructors and lecturers moved up four spots. The unadjusted salary for instructors and lecturers ranked last out of 31 public AAU institutions.

Providing a competitive salary to instructors and lecturers is a priority for Pitt’s administration, said David DeJong, executive vice provost.

“Our official target is we want to be in the median of the AAU publics on this campus, and that’s across all the ranks,” said DeJong.

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, 2015-16.” Cost-of-living comparisons were taken from the Council for Community and Economic Research’s ACCRA Cost of Living Index 2015-16.

Regional faculty salaries

Considering the Bradford, Greensburg and Johnstown campuses as one, the salaries for professors, assistant professors and instructors and lecturers were significantly above the median when adjusted for the cost of living, but unadjusted fell below the median for a new benchmark group of 108 regional campus institutions (Nov. 10, 2016, University Times).

The adjusted salary for associate professors was 28th; the unadjusted pay for associate professors ranked slightly above the median.

The salaries for the regional campuses report came from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System Human Resources Survey, 2014-15. 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 posted at


In other business:

• DeJong said that a salary report for part-time faculty should be available next year.

• Brodish will share an updated gender equity salary report (for the previous report, see May 2, 2013, University Times) at BPC’s April 21 meeting. DeJong will present the facilities capital plan at BPC’s May 19 meeting.

—Katie Fike

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