U of C ranks third highest in national survey of prof salaries

University professors follow Harvard and Columbia in pay rankings this year.

By Rebecca Guterman

Despite the recession, U of C professors need not worry about their compensation.

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) reported that the University’s 2010–2011 professorial salaries were the third highest in the country.

Although the ranking has not changed since last year, full-time U of C professors saw the highest salary increase by about $6,000. These numbers come from an annual report published in March by the AAUP titled “It’s Not Over.”

U of C full-time professors received an average salary of $190,400 last year. Harvard and Columbia Universities were the only schools that reported higher salary payments for professors, at $193,800 and $191,400, respectively.

University spokesman Jeremy Manier said that the U of C values its well known faculty and would not let economic factors like the recession affect that fact.

“Through good or challenging economic times, the University of Chicago’s commitment to attracting preeminent faculty in a variety of fields will continue to be strong,” he said. “Our faculty [is] central to the University’s core missions of creating new knowledge and providing life-changing education.”

Several department chairs acknowledged the ranking but declined to comment on the average salary figure or the rest of the report.

The report discussed the residual effects of the economic crisis on professor salaries and universities from December 2007 to June 2009.

The report says that, during the recession, the salary of private university presidents increased three times as much as that of faculty members. The salary of public university presidents increased twice as much as those of faculty members during the same period.

The report also said that though the overall number of full-time faculty hires increased, schools hired more members for non-tenure-track positions than for tenure-track positions.

Over the nearly two-a-half-year period covered in the survey, the number of tenure-track faculty members decreased by over 3% nationally.

The number of contingent (not full-time faculty) and graduate student employees also increased to over 75 percent of instructional staff as of 2009, according to the report.