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Report: Higher Education Administration Pay Soars as Faculty Pay Lags

Real average salaries for full-time faculty members remain below pre-pandemic levels, according to a report released by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2023–24, highlights trends in faculty compensation, tenure and contingency, pay equity, and institutional finances in higher education. Its findings come from AAUP’s annual Faculty Compensation Survey.

The report revealed that growth in salaries for college and university presidents continued to outpace the growth in full-time faculty salaries; president salaries in 2023–24 ranged from $259,000 at public associate institutions without ranking systems to over $912,000 at private-independent doctoral universities.

It found that, between fall 2022 to fall 2023, real average salaries increased at fewer than half (45.1%, or 380 out of 842) of the institutions participating in the report’s survey.

And regarding institutional finances, over half of the nearly $600 billion in endowment assets were held by less than 1% of the 1,600 private institutions surveyed.

The report documents this and the ongoing shift in the makeup of the academic workforce from mostly full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members to mostly faculty members holding contingent appointments that are ineligible for tenure.

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