The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession Is Here

Today, we're releasing The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2023–24, which presents findings from the AAUP’s annual Faculty Compensation Survey. This year’s report also describes key institutional finance trends in US higher education and documents 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.

See the full report here or read on for key findings.

  • Full-time faculty compensation: From fall 2022 to fall 2023, nominal average salaries for full-time faculty members increased 3.8 percent for all academic ranks combined. However, real average salaries for full-time faculty members are nowhere near prepandemic levels. The Annual Report presents a wide range of data on full-time faculty compensation, including salaries and expenditures for fringe benefits.
  • Part-time faculty compensation: Economic conditions remain dire for part-time faculty members, who make up just under half (48.7 percent) of the academic workforce. In 2022–23, part-time faculty members earned an average of $3,903 per three-credit course section. The report presents data on part-time faculty members who were paid on a per-course-section basis, including pay and fringe benefit coverage.
  • Administrator salaries: Growth in salaries for college and university presidents has outpaced the growth in full-time faculty salaries for years. Median salaries for college and university presidents in 2023–24 ranged from a low of about $259,000 at public associate’s institutions without ranking systems to a high of over $912,000 at private-independent doctoral universities. The report presents data on college and university presidents, chief academic officers, and chief financial officers.
  • Salary equity: Average full-time faculty salaries for women were 82.6 percent of those for men in 2023–24, and full-time women faculty members earned less than men across all academic ranks. The report presents full-time faculty salary data by gender and academic rank, along with the latest federal figures on the makeup of ranked faculty members by gender, race, and ethnicity.
  • The academic labor force: In fall 2022, 31.9 percent of faculty members in US higher education held full-time tenured or tenure-track appointments, compared with an estimated 53.1 percent in fall 1987. Approximately 23.2 percent of faculty members were on full-time tenured appointments, and just under half (48.7 percent) were employed part time. Overall, 67.7 percent of faculty members were on contingent appointments. The report summarizes patterns of faculty appointments and graduate student employment from fall 1987 through fall 2022.
  • Institutional finances: Long-term debt among US colleges and universities amounted to about $388 billion in 2022, an increase of about 30.9 percent since 2011, after adjusting for inflation. There are huge variations in state funding for public education across the country, ranging from a low of under $4,000 per student in Arizona to a high of more than $20,000 per student in Connecticut in fiscal year 2024. Of the nearly $600 billion in endowment assets held by more than 1,600 private colleges and universities at the end of fiscal year 2022, over half were held by less than 1 percent of the total number of private institutions. The report summarizes key institutional finance trends in US higher education, including government fiscal support for public higher education, revenue and expenses, endowment assets, and long-term debt.

Learn More and Get Data

The report can be found on the AAUP website.

Supplemental data may be explored on the AAUP’s interactive data website, which includes drilldown capabilities and tools for summarizing data by region, state, institution size, Carnegie Classification, and other variables.

Datasets are available for order now.

Publication Date: 
Friday, June 21, 2024