The average salary for a full-time faculty member was only 1.2 % higher in 2009–10 than in the previous academic year, the lowest year-to-year change recorded in the fifty years of this comprehensive annual survey from the AAUP (American Association of University Professors).
The survey shows the amount of change in overall salary levels in the various categories of institutions. This year’s results show that the overall average salary level declined at nearly one-third of colleges and universities, with greater frequency at baccalaureate and associate’s degree colleges. Average salary levels increased only very slightly at another third of institutions: about 20% of all institutions reported an increase in overall average salary that was 1% or less, and an additional 15% reported increases of between 1 and 2%. Taken together this means that two-thirds of all colleges and universities reporting data reduced overall average salary or increased it by 2% or less, well below the rate of inflation.
No central data source provides comprehensive coverage of the faculty hiring process, but there are indications that new faculty appointments have been dramatically reduced during the 2009–10 academic year. The American Historical Association (AHA) reported in January 2010 that the number of jobs listed through its various outlets had fallen by 24% to 806 positions, the smallest number in a decade. Further, an AHA survey of those departments that did list faculty openings found that 15% of those searches were subsequently called off.
The American Economic Association (AEA) reported a decline of 19% in academic listings in its Job Openings for Economists in the past year. In departments with PhD programs, listings were down by 8%, while in non-doctoral departments new position listings were down 31%. The American Mathematical Society reported a decline in faculty job listings of 13% for 2009 compared with the previous year. The greatest reductions were reported by the Modern Language Association (MLA). Advertised faculty openings in English language and literature decreased by 35%, and MLA listings in disciplines other than English were down by 39%. The two-year total decline in position announcements amounts to 51% in English and 55% in foreign languages—the largest decrease recorded by the MLA since it created the Job Information List thirty-five years ago.
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