Digging into KU faculty salaries

Isn't it nifty?

Something interesting popped out of the old Internet machine yesterday: the Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual report on how much college and university faculty are paid. I dug through the numbers a bit, just for you.

So where do KU’s faculty rank? About the same as they did last year, in relation to other universities.

According to the data, which are rounded up by the American Association of University Professors, KU faculty who’ve reached the top rank of full professor are earning about $118,300 on average this school year, up 1.9 percent from last year. Associate professors (who’ve earned tenure but haven’t been promoted to full-professor status) are making an average of $80,600, an increase of 2.3 percent. And assistant professors (faculty who haven’t earned tenure but are aiming to do so, generally in the first six or so years of their careers) are bringing in about $71,800 on average, 3.8 percent more than last year.

All those rank below the median for doctorate-granting institutions, with full professors’ pay coming closest to the middle. All rank above the average levels for all public colleges but below the averages at private colleges (by quite a bit for the full professors).

Pay is increasing faster at private institutions, the Chronicle reports, and I’ve got another blog post brewing that will tie into that.

The Chronicle also provides a look at how pay is different for men and women on the faculty. There’s a gender gap at all three of those professor levels at KU. Among assistant professors, women are making 14 percent less than men on average. The gap is smaller at the top: Among full professors, the difference is 7 percent.

KU’s “Bold Aspirations” strategic plan lists 10 other public universities for KU to compare itself to, all of which are also part of the prestigious Association of American Universities. So I thought I’d see how KU’s faculty pay stacks up to nine of them (one, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, did not appear to submit data), using a nifty little comparison tool the Chronicle provides.

For the most part, KU’s numbers were on the low end among the group. KU’s entry-level assistant professors ranked in the middle of the pack, but the associate and full professors outranked only those from two other universities. (Lagging behind all the others in all areas was the University of Missouri-Columbia.)

KU’s pay easily outranks all the other institutions in Kansas, with Kansas State and Washburn universities coming the closest. The highest-paid professors in the country, on average, are at Columbia University.

You can click around in the Chronicle’s database to find more numbers. I’ll stop myself now, though surely there are more stories hiding in there. Anything you’re particularly curious about? Let me know. And get those KU news tips to merickson@ljworld.com.

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