Monday, April 25, 2011

Continuing Slide in the Academic Market

Here are some highlights from the 2011 American Association of University Professors Faculty Salary Report. While this news has been out for several weeks now, I've only now been able check it out. No matter the delay, this report about today's academic market makes an important contribution to a growing array of evidence that questions the ongoing viability of the professorate.

The bad news:

• For the second year, faculty salary increased marginally but failed to keep up with inflation. [The AAUP adds some important context to this point]:
"Such a disproportionate increase in compensation for a single individual is an indication of misplaced institutional priorities—especially when faculty members and other higher education employees have been faced with involuntary unpaid furloughs, hiring and salary freezes, and cuts to benefits."
• Increases in presidential pay continue to far outstrip increases in faculty pay (especially at private schools).

• Contingent faculty - those not on a tenure track - and graduate student employees total 75 percent of all instructional staff. Less than one in four faculty are on the tenure/tenure track.

What's more, these trends show no signs of abating. If you're thinking about getting into academic life - especially if you're hunting for a tenure-track job - you should read this report.

Press Release

• Full Report


Bonnie said...

Ridiculous. We just had a tenure challenge in Florida, and it was considered so ridiculous that it was taken off the table at the subcommittee level where it started.

Jenny Wood said...

Yeah, I think there are definitely some permanent changes happening. Scary if you're going into that field. I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually eliminated tenure track positions in favor of contingent workers.