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SENATE Economic Status of the Faculty

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Executive Summary of the Economic Status of the Faculty 2003-2004 Report

Click here for "SCESF Recommendations"

Introduction

This Executive Summary is meant to cover the most salient portions of the full Economic Status of the Faculty 2002-2003/04 Report. It is the consensus of the Senate Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty (SCESF) that having a condensed summary of the full report will lead to a wider dissemination of this information to the faculty-at-large. Covered in this report are the following areas:

•  Comparisons with Growth in the Consumer Price Index (CPI)

•  Comparisons with Peer Universities Using MIT Survey Data

•  Comparisons with Peer Universities Using AAUP Survey Data

•  Variability in Average Salary Levels by Rank

•  Trends in Variability Over Time

•  Variability by Gender

The Summary concludes with the Committee's Recommendations and Questions for the Administration for 2003-04.

Comparisons with Growth in the Consumer Price Index (CPI)1

Comparisons for FY 2003 with the CPI indicate that:

(a) for all ranks, the mean FY 2003 percentage salary increases were considerably higher than the percentage increases in the CPI,

(b) for all ranks, the median FY 2003 percentage salary increases were higher than the percentage increases in the CPI,

(c) for all ranks, the extent to which the percentage increase in the means and median salaries exceed the percentage increase in the CPI was not as high as in FY 2002 (though the percentage differentials in that year were the largest in the past 10-year period), and

(d) the mean percentage increases are substantial in absolute value and for the three ranks combined (though not for Assistant or Full Professors considered separately) exceed slightly the faculty guideline upper bound of 6.0%. We believe that such a trend, if it continues, will strengthen Penn's competitive position and allow us to attract even higher quality researchers and teachers.

Group/Condition

Average

FY 2003

Full Professors

Median

4.0%


Mean

5.0%

Associate Professors

Median

4.0%


Mean

6.5%

Assistant Professors

Median

4.0%


Mean

5.3%

All Three Ranks

Mean

6.1%

U.S. City Average CPI

Mean

2.1%

Budget Guidelines

Mean

3.5%

NOTE: Academic base salary percentage increases pertain to all Penn standing faculty members who continued in employment at the University during the periods of time reported. Excluded were all members of the Faculty of Medicine, all Clinician Educators from four other schools (Dental Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work) that have such positions, and faculty members who entered Penn employment during the periods of time reported.

The most impressive salary increase percentages continue to be the cumulative compound salary increments over a 10-year period (from FY 1994 through FY 2003):

•  Full Professors: 60.0%

•  Associate Professors: 70.2%

•  Assistant Professors:  70.0%

On the whole (all ranks combined) and for each of the three ranks, the cumulative mean Penn faculty salary increments in percentage terms during this 10-year period were more than twice the percentage growth of 27.2% in the CPI.

Comparisons with Peer Universities Using MIT Survey Data

The best currently available salary data from other institutions of higher education are provided by the MIT annual survey of a group of approximately 25 private and public research universities. These salary data are reported for the following academic fields:

•  Natural Sciences (at Penn, represented by SAS departments)

•  Humanities and Social Sciences (at Penn, represented by SAS departments)

•  Engineering (at Penn, represented by SEAS)

•  Architecture (at Penn, represented by GSFA2)

•  Management (at Penn, represented by Wharton)

Salary Comparisons: Penn's Competitive Standing

The most meaningful comparisons of mean faculty salaries at Penn with those at other universities in the MIT salary survey sample are broken out by academic field and rank:

Rank order of mean salary levels for Penn faculty members by five academic fields in comparison with selected public and private research universities as of the Fall Terms of 2002 & 2003.

Academic Fields

2002-03

2003-04

Full Professor

 

 

Natural Sciences

11/22

8/22

Soc Sci/Human

7/22

6/22

Engineering

10/20

13/20

Architecture

5/16

7/16

Management

5/17

5/17

 

 

 

Associate Professor

 

 

Natural Sciences

9/22

7/22

Soc Sci/Human

7/22

5/22

Engineering

13/20

9/20

Architecture

-

-

Management

5/17

4/17

 

 

 

Assistant Professor

 

 

Natural Sciences

8/22

8/22

Soc Sci/Human

8/22

10/22

Engineering

7/20

8/20

Architecture

7/16

5/16

Management

9/17

8/17

NOTE: Salary rank orders pertain to the mean academic base salary levels of Penn standing faculty members from the Sciences (of SAS) and Social Sciences and Humanities (of SAS), and the School of Engineering and Applied Science (for engineering), GSFA, now School of Design (for architecture), and Wharton (for management). Rank orders are reported only if the number of faculty members is four or more. Data source: MIT Salary Survey.

As a broad overall generalization for the four schools at Penn included in the MIT survey as weighted by faculty size, it is fair to conclude that Penn's mean faculty salaries for all ranks in 2003-04 tend to be above the mean of the MIT sample.

Comparisons with Peer Universities Using AAUP Survey Data

Presented below is a comparison of the mean salaries of all full professors at Penn with those at a small select group of research universities based on data obtained by the Penn administration and published annually by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) in Academe

Full professor salary comparisons: Percentage differences in mean academic base salary levels of Penn full professors in comparison with salary levels of full professors at a sample of comparable research universities.

University

Full Professor Salaries Percentage Differences by Year

2001-02

2002-03

Harvard

+13.0%

+13.0%

Princeton

+2.9%

+3.8%

Yale

+2.5%

+2.8%

Stanford

+2.3%

+2.8%

Chicago

+0.9%

+0.9%

Pennsylvania

128.0K

133.5K

NYU

-1.3%

-1.0%

Columbia

-2.0%

-2.2%

Northwestern

-4.5%

-4.3%

MIT

-3.8%

-4.4%

Duke

-7.2%

-6.4%

UCLA

-9.6%

-11.7%

U.C. (Berkeley)

-9.5%

-12.1%

Michigan

-14.9%

-14.0%

Carnegie-Mellon

-15.0%

-17.3%

Virginia

-15.9%

-19.3%

N.C. (Chapel Hill)

19.2%

-21.2%

Texas (Austin)

-22.8%

-22.9%

MN (Twin Cities)

-23.8%

-24.1%

NOTE: Penn academic base mean salaries are based on standing faculty members at the rank of professor. Excluded are all members of the Faculty of Medicine and all standing faculty members who are appointed as Clinician Educators from four other schools that have such positions (Dental Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work). Data source: AAUP Salary Surveys

Variability in Average Salary Increases by Rank and School/Area

Before reviewing these salary increases, it should be recognized that the salary increase guideline of 2.8% for FY 2004 is just that, a guideline, and pertains to an aggregate of all increases for all ranks combined for each of Penn's schools. Therefore, a comparison of the median increase awarded to faculty members of a particular rank and school with the salary guideline only gives an indication of the extent to which the guideline was implemented in that particular instance.

With respect to full professors, in seven of the 14 schools/areas the median salary increases for FY 2004 were within half a percent of the general guideline of 2.8% (between 2.3-3.3%), while two were lower than 2.3% (Annenberg, Dental Medicine) and the other five were above 3.3% (Graduate Education, Graduate School of Fine Arts, Law, Social Work, Wharton).

With respect to associate professors, in four of the 13 schools/areas (data for Law are not available) the median salary increases for FY 2004 were within half a percent of the general guideline of 2.8% (between 2.3-3.3%), while two were lower than 2.3% (Annenberg, Nursing) and the other seven were above 3.3% (Engineering and Applied Science, Graduate Education, Graduate School of Fine Arts, Medicine-Basic Sciences, Natural Science (A&S), Social Work, Wharton).

With respect to assistant professors, in four of the 12 schools (data for Annenberg and Social Work are not available) the median salary increases for FY 2004 were within half a percent of the general guideline of 2.8% (between 2.3-3.3%), while two were lower than 2.3% (Dental Medicine, Nursing) and the other six were above 3.3% (Graduate Education, Graduate School of Fine Arts, Law, Medicine-Basic Sciences, Natural Science (A&S), Wharton).

Variability in Average Salary Levels by Rank

Three-year data on mean and median faculty salaries by rank are shown for all schools combined, except Medicine.

Mean academic base salary levels of continuing Penn standing faculty members by rank.

Salary

Rank

Academic Year

Average

Amount

Full Professor

2001-02

Mean

127,446



Median

112,546


2002-03

Mean

136,238



Median

127,450


2003-04

Mean

140,782



Median

130,048

Associate Professor

2001-02

Mean

90,050



Median

82,187


2002-03

Mean

92,963



Median

85,000


2003-04

Mean

96,254



Median

88,200

Assistant Professor

2001-02

Mean

79,003



Median

75,000


2002-03

Mean

82,819



Median

75,000


2003-04

Mean

82,792



Median

76,294

NOTE: Mean academic base salary levels are based on all Penn standing faculty members who continued in employment in FY 2002, FY 2003, and FY 2004 from their respective prior years. Excluded ere all mem bers of the Faculty of Medicine, all Clinician Educators from four other schools (Dental Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work) that have such positions, and faculty members who were promoted effective for each year reported.

Trends in Variability Over Time

The variability (i.e., the Inter Quartile Range, IQR) of median salaries for Penn's 14 school/areas for the three professorial ranks in 2003-04 increased considerably from two years prior (2001-02), which also is reported in last year's SCESF report as a considerable increase from two years earlier (1999-2000). This is evidence of ongoing rapidly increasing disparity of faculty salaries across Penn's 14 schools/areas. Schools/areas offering higher median salaries apparently also offer higher annual percentage increases. That is, the increases in the IQR are not just proportion al to the increase in salary levels from one year to the next, but the disparities among schools/areas in median salaries is growing in percentage terms as well as in dollars. 

In short, these statistical facts indicate that, in general, differences in median faculty salaries between lower paying schools/areas and higher paying schools/areas have been, and continue to be, slowly increasing both in dollar amount and in percentage difference. As noted in prior SCESF reports, variability among schools/areas is no doubt a product, to a considerable extent, of market forces in the hiring of faculty members and in the relative wealth of schools (i.e., financial ability to support faculty salaries).  The relative wealth of schools available for supporting faculty salaries is, in major part, a function of how much income a school is able to earn and the level of non-faculty expenditures it regards as essential—each has been discussed above and in the section on Responsibility Center Budget System in SCESF's 2001-2002 report (Almanac March 25, 2003).

If the wide difference among schools/areas in median salaries of full professors seen at Penn is a general phenomenon at other universities as well, there will be evidence that Penn is experiencing a general market phenomenon instead of a local idiosyncrasy. To test this possibility, last year's report analyzed recent data from the MIT Salary Survey for 12 universities3 that reported salary means for full professors for all five academic areas.  The result was that these 12 ratios ranged from a low of 1.32 to a high of 2.05, with a mean of 1.59—indicating that wide variation in mean faculty salaries across academic areas is common and substantial. Penn's ratio in the MIT data was virtually the same as the mean of the 12 universities. This suggests that the variability in mean faculty salaries across schools/areas at Penn is currently in line with experience elsewhere, and is a function of general economic forces affecting all of academia.

Variability by Gender

The SCESF requested that rates of salary increases be provided by gender. This table provides the percentage increases for the first, second and third quartiles by rank for FY 20044

Percentage Salary Increase Distribution by Gender and Rank

First Quartile (Q1), Median (Md.)a, and Third Quartile (Q3) Percentage Salary Increases by Year 2003-04

Rank

Gender

Q1

Median

Q3

Full Professor

Men

2.50

3.00

4.30


Women

2.60

3.25

4.73

Associate Professor

Men

2.75

3.50

7.55


Women

2.80

3.20

7.10

Assistant Professor

Men

2.80

3.60

4.90


Women

2.80

3.70

4.80

The general pattern seems to be approximately equal salary increases in percentage terms. The range of differences for the male minus female percentage increases by ranks-quartiles is -0.40 to 0.50, with the majority 0.1 or less in absolute value. In the majority of cases the percentage increases are slightly larger for women than for men (five of the eight cases in which they differ)—including all three quartiles for full professors. In contrast at the median and third quartile for associate professors the percentage increases are larger for men by 0.3 to 0.5%. Given interest in gender comparisons, the SCESF recommends that such data be included in future reports, perhaps with some disaggregation for cases in which there are sufficient numbers in the underlying cells.


1  The consumer price index (CPI) refers to prices for a basket of goods and services purchased by "average workers."

2  GSFA (now the School of Design) also included Departments of City and Regional Planning, Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, and Fine Arts.

3  The sample of 12 universities analyzed was selected from the following group of 13: Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rice University, University of California (Berkeley), University of California (Los Angeles), University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, University of Texas, and Yale University.

4  This information is presented only at the aggregate level because for a number of school/areas-rank cells the number of one gender (generally female) is fairly low.

>> Next Page " SCESF Recommendations"

 

 


  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 11, November 9, 2004

ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS:

Tuesday,
November 9, 2004
Volume 51 Number 11
www.upenn.edu/almanac

 

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