Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The AAUP Faculty Salary Survey is out, and you can read about the findings in The Chronicle  or at the AAUP's own site. I should mention that I'm a fan of the AAUP and its work in general, because the next thing I'm going to say is that the survey is deeply unsatisfying.

Naturally, I did what any professor would do - I checked it out to see how my pay stacked up.

Only one for-profit institution in the country is listed: DeVry. So I turned to look at my geographic region. New York salaries are, after all, a little higher than elsewhere, albeit not as high as the cost of living would suggest. In the state of New York, 104 institutions are listed. (Note: As of this writing, there is a glitch: Selecting "all four-year colleges" gives you only the 29 public colleges.) You can't narrow the list down to NYC-area colleges, which is no big deal, as I am savvy enough to know that SUNY Buffalo is not in NYC.

No surprise, I'm making less than assistant professors at NYU, Columbia, and Fordham. I'd like to compare my salary to those at CUNY, but, oddly, CUNY isn't listed. Now, as the name tells you, the data is collected from a survey, and institutions are under no compulsion to participate.

The thing is, CUNY is a public institution. You can find their salary scales here, and actual salaries here.* If I can do this legwork, so can anyone. It would make the AAUP results more useful if they did it and included it in their findings, perhaps with a flag.

I'm not sure how many other institutions are in similar situations. If the University of Phoenix or Harvard decides not to report salary data, there is no substitute source AAUP can get it from. But there definitely are others. I checked out Oregon, which I know well and has a manageable number of institutions, and there are no community colleges listed. In fact, only 163 CC's are in the data overall.

So, while the survey is useful, it has some big gaps. Only 1,251 out of the 4,400-ish U.S. degree-granting institutions are represented.

*Choose the following from the pull-down menus:
Pay year: 2011
Branch/major category: Executive
Agency/Area: CUNY
SubAgency/Employer: Choose individual institution
Position: Asst Professor, Assoc Professor, Professor, etc.

No comments: