In December, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) released an in-depth look at the makeup and salaries of full-time faculty members in US higher education. Using data collected by the US Department of Education, this snapshot provides an updated demographic profile of full-time faculty by academic rank and institution type, highlighting disparities among women and people of color.
Key findings are:
- Women make up 46.7 percent of full-time faculty members, 53.8 percent of part-time faculty members, and 50.0 percent of faculty members overall.
- Among women faculty members, 49.6 percent are employed part time, whereas only 42.5 percent of men faculty members are employed part time.
- Women make up 42.5 percent of full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members and 53.9 percent of full-time contingent (non-tenure-track) faculty members.
- Salaries for full-time women faculty members are approximately 81.2 percent of men’s. Among tenured or tenure-track faculty members, women earn 82.4 percent of what men earn.
- Among tenure-line faculty members, women make up 50.0 percent of assistant professors but only 45.0 percent of associate professors and 32.5 percent of full professors.
- Among full professors, women’s salaries are approximately 85.1 percent of men’s. Among associate professors and assistant professors, women earn approximately 92.7 percent and 90.7 percent, respectively, of what men earn.
- The percentage of full-time women faculty members varies by institutional category, ranging from 54.7 percent among associate’s (two-year) institutions to 42.3 percent among doctoral institutions. For full-time tenure-line faculty members, the percentage ranges from 54.4 percent among associate’s institutions to 36.3 percent among doctoral institutions.
- Underrepresented minority faculty members make up only 12.9 percent of full-time faculty members across the country, despite making up 32.6 percent of the US population.
- Only 5.2 percent of full-time faculty members self-identify as Hispanic or Latino, whereas 17.5 percent of the US population self-identifies as Hispanic or Latino.
- Only 6.0 percent of full-time faculty members self-identify as Black or African American, whereas 12.7 percent of the US population self-identifies as Black or African American.
The AAUP’s analysis confirms that women faculty members continue to face unique challenges in academia with respect to employment, advancement, salary, and job security, and that higher education is by no means immune from systemic racism. The pay and opportunity gaps identified in this data snapshot are the result of many factors beyond gender, race, and ethnicity, and closing them will require innovative and sustained efforts.
This data snapshot draws upon data from the provisional release of the Fall 2018 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Human Resources survey component. Throughout the report, we have followed the terminology used by IPEDS for ease of data comparison.
—by Glenn Colby, AAUP Senior Researcher, and Chelsea Fowler, AAUP Research Assistant