Labor & Work-Life Issues

Gender Pay Gap Persists Across Faculty Ranks

March 22, 2017

Faculty salaries increased 2.8 percent in 2015 over the previous year, according to the latest U.S. Education Department data.

The data show women’s salaries grew at a slightly higher rate — 3 percent — than men’s, but not enough to begin closing the gender pay gap.

The new data, on more than 4,500 colleges, have been posted at data.chronicle.com, and are searchable by rank, college, sector, state, and Carnegie classification. In addition to faculty salaries, the site includes updated information about staff salaries and crowdsourced adjunct pay.

Across all ranks and colleges, the average nine-month salary was $77,604 in 2015. For full professors, that figure was just shy of $111,000. Associate professors took home an average of $79,621, while assistant professors earned an average of $67,466.

The number of faculty members was little changed from 2014, up 0.3 percent to just over 629,000. There were slight increases in the full-professor, assistant-professor, and lecturer ranks. Men continued to make up a disproportionate ratio of full professors — outnumbering women by more than two to one — while a majority of assistant professors, instructors, and lecturers are women. Over all, there were about 1,000 fewer male faculty members and 2,800 more female faculty members in 2015 compared with 2014.

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The updated data.chronicle.com features figures about full-time faculty pay over the past decade, including the latest numbers from the Department of Education on nearly 4,500 colleges. The updated site also incorporates pay data for adjunct faculty members, as well as staff salaries, and makes it easy to compare salaries by state or type of institution.

And, as we’ve done with adjunct salaries, we’re gathering additional salary data from full-time faculty members to see how pay differs across departments.

Visit data.chronicle.com to add your data and explore the latest figures.

Even though the year-over-year percentage increases in average salaries were higher for women across most ranks, the pay gaps widened or stayed virtually unchanged. That’s because male faculty members already earn more than their female counterparts. For example, in 2014, male full professors earned $113,766. Their 2.8-percent increase added nearly $3,200 to that figure. For female full professors, who earned an average of $95,692, their 3.1-percent increase resulted in a pay increase of less than $3,000. As a result, the pay gap for full professors widened by more than $200.

The expanding pay gap was most pronounced at four-year nonprofit colleges. Male full professors earned $18,200 more than their female counterparts, an increase of $500 from 2014.

The highest average salaries continued to be at private nonprofit four-year colleges, where, across all ranks, the average nine-month pay stood at nearly $84,000 in 2015, up 2 percent. Public four-year colleges paid only slightly less on average, about $82,800, up 2.8 percent from 2014.

Visit data.chronicle.com for full details.

Joshua Hatch is assistant managing editor of data and interactives. Follow him on Twitter @hatchjt.