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Financial compensation of teachers in colleges and universities is one of the important problems confronting higher education in the United States. The question is of vital concern not only to the staff members at present employed but also to candidates preparing themselves for entrance into the profession of college teaching.

Information is already available regarding the general salary conditions prevailing in institutions of higher learning, but there is little reliable information as to the salaries paid within the various academic branches. This is particularly true with reference to the differences between the compensation of men and of women teachers, among the several major divisions, and among the departments of arts and sciences. The purpose of this bulletin is to analyze the salaries of college teachers with respect to these various factors.

Source of data.The material upon which the investigation is based was collected in the course of the survey of land-grant colleges and universities recently conducted by the United States Office of Education. Exigencies of time and space prevented its use in the final official report of the nation-wide survey. The institutions represented include only publicly supported land-grant universities and colleges. Of the total of 50 making up the list, there are 24 State universities and 26 separate land-grant colleges. Salary figures consist of returns made by individual staff members to a questionnaire sent them in the survey rather than salary schedules of the institutions.

Limitation of data.-The appraisal of salaries is limited to those of teachers in selected fields of study and does not include all the branches of work conducted by State univers ties and colleges. Staff members of the agricultural experiment stations as well as those engaged in agricultural and home economics extension have been omitted. On account of the small number of returns, it has been necessary also to eliminate the major divisions of medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and law. The salaries in all instances are for the academic year of 1927–28. Because the questionnaire did not make provision for the segregation of teachers working on a 9-month and a 12-month basis, the figures include salaries for both periods of employment. Inasmuch as the median salaries of deans, professors, and associate professors serving on a 12-month basis in the institutions are slightly less than of those working on a 9-month basis, it

1 See Appendix D for list of institutions,

· See pp. 570-576, Bulletin 1930, No. 9, U, S. Office of Education, Survey of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities.

is not believed that the median salaries contained in this bulletin will be materially affected by the inability to make a separation between the two bases of salaries. Assistants, fellows, and graduate students with teaching fellowships are not included since they do not occupy the status of full-time faculty membership.

Extent of data.-Annual salaries of 6,890 staff members divided as to sex and academic rank are available for analysis in the seven major divisions of liberal arts, education, home economics, agriculture, engineering, commerce and business, and physical education. Within the liberal arts college, similar data are at hand for 2,576 teachers distributed among the departments of English, chemistry, mathematics, biological sciences, foreign languages, history and political science, physics, economics, and psychology.

Methods of handling data. --Current statistical practices have been adopted in the tabulation of the data. Salary distributions by sex, rank, major division, and department are presented in tabular form. The median salaries and the quartiles, Q' and Q?, have been computed for each of the distributions.

In the presentation of the salaries of the teachers, the text has been limited to a discussion of the salient points. All basic tables have been included in the appendices where they may be examined for more detailed information.

Salaries by Sex and Rank The sex and rank of college teachers bears a significant relation to financial compensation.

Of the total of 6,890 full-time staff members in all fields of study combined, there are 5,822 men and 1,068 women teachers. Figured on a percentage basis, the proportion of men teachers is 84.5 per cent and of women teachers 15.5 per cent. In other words, five times as many men as women are employed.

Salaries vary with academic rank, and it is of great importance, therefore, in comparing salaries by sexes to determine whether men and women are distributed proportionately among the several ranks. Table 1 shows the number and percentages of teachers by sex holding the different ranks for all the fields of study combined. Table 1.-Number of teachers and percentage distribution of each sex by rank

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Associate professor.
Assistant professor..


939 1, 241 1, 462

2.9 34.6 16. 1 21.3 25. 1

14 114 137 314 489

1.3 10. 7 12.8 29.4 46.8

186 2,122 1,076 1,655 1,951

2.7 30.8 16.6 226 2.3


5, 822




6, 890


A striking feature of Table 1 is the low academic ranking given women staff members as compared with men. In the two lower ranks, that of assistant professor and instructor, the percentage of women teachers is far larger than the percentage of men. For the three higher ranks of dean, professor, and associate professor, where the larger salaries are paid, the percentage of the total women teachers in these ranks, is 24.8 in contrast with 53.6 of men. Thus more than twice as many men as women staff members in proportion to the total employed are assigned the upper ranks in which the higher stipends are paid.

The compensation paid within the several academic ranks and to the men and women teachers varies widely. This is shown in detail in the table contained in Appendix A, which presents salary distributions for each of the different ranks divided by sex as well as for the total of all ranks. It is also shown in a comparison of the median salaries which are set forth in Table 2.

TABLE 2.-Median salaries of teachers by rank and sex for all fields of study combined

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Associate professor.
Assistant professor.

$5, 635
3, 284

2, 530

$5, 533
4, 114
3, 228

All ranks..

3, 169



Women staff members receive a lower median salary than men staff members in every academic rank. As revealed by the table, the greatest discrepancy is found in the case of deans, women holding this rank being paid a median salary $1,260 less than men. In both the rank of professor and associate professor the difference between the median salaries of the two sexes is fairly large, being $558 for professors and $402 for associate professors. Only an insignificant difference exists between the median salaries of men and women instructors. The median salary for all women teachers irrespective of rank is $860 below that of men teachers, or approximately onefourth less.

Salaries in Major Divisions

Compensation of staff members considering the group as a whole, as just presented, is valuable as indicative of the general salary levels existing in the universities and colleges, of the differences between men and women holding each rank, and of the salaries paid in each

rank. Of far more interest is specific knowledge regarding the remuneration of teachers in each major division. The results of such an inquiry reveal differences in salaries between one major division and another as well as between the sexes and ranks within the same division.

In connection with the analysis of the salaries within the seven major divisions included in this investigation, attention must be called to the fact that there are a number of institutions in which the liberal arts colleges are not organized as such, but are service organizations to the specialized and professional fields. As the subjects taught in them are fundamental courses in arts and sciences, the salaries of their staff members have been classified in the liberal arts group. For several of the major divisions practically all the teachers employed are men, while in one the staff is confined entirely to women, so that no differences in salaries in those cases appear by sex.

It is found that in some institutions intercollegiate athletics has been separated from the regular academic organization and is not a part of the physical education division. For the purposes of this appraisal no cognizance is taken of these diverse methods of administrative control and management. All teachers of physical education have been included regardless of whether they are athletic coaches under the jurisdiction of student-alumni associations or similar organizations or whether they are regular staff members employed by the institutional physical education division. As they are ordinarily given academic ranking, athletic coaches have been classified along with the other teachers according to the particular rank assigned


Table 3 presents the percentages of teachers within each of the seven divisions according to academic ranks. The data are classified by sex.

TABLE 3.-Percentage distribution of each sex by rank, in various major divisions

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16.5 16.5 10. 9| 16.9 30.0 30.0 33.1 33.1 2.9 2.9 37.3 37.3 17.5 17.5 25.8 25.8 16.5 16.3 3.4 3.4 29.6. 29.6 14.8 14.8 22.9 22.9 29.3 29.3 4. 61 4. 2 26. 3 5.6 24. 4 14. 6 13. 2 21. 6 16.6 21.2 32.9 77.8) 37.0 1. 2 1.0 28.9 10.322. 3 17.1 6. 2 13.2 23.9) 27.8 25.3 28.9 55. 71 38 5

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The tendency prevails in a number of major divisions to assign high academic ranks to their staff members. This means a higher level of salaries in those divisions. Especially in the fields of education and agriculture are found larger percentages of the teachers ranked as professors. An examination of the table discloses that of all the teachers in agriculture 37.3 per cent are professors and in education 35 per cent are professors, in contrast with 22.3 per cent for physical education and 16.5 per cent for home economics. The percentage of associate professors in education and agriculture is also large while the percentage of their staff members assigned the rank of instructor is small as compared with other divisions. Of particular significance is the large percentage of staff members in physical education, commerce and business, and home economics holding the rank of instructor.

Men receive higher academic ranking than women teachers in all the major divisions where the staffs are divided as to sex. Table 3 shows, for example, that the percentage of women professors and associate professors is in every case below that of men staff members occupying these ranks. In the lower rank of assistant professor women teachers have larger percentages than men in all divisions but one, and in the rank of instructor their percentage is distinctly larger in all divisions. In the division of commerce and business this percentage runs as high as 77.8 and in liberal arts 51.9 of the total women teachers.

The effect of the differentiations in rank assignment is reflected in the levels of compensation for the several fields. Appendix B contains the detailed salary distribution tables for each of the major divisions. In Table 4 are the median salaries by academic rank.

TABLE 4.-Median salaries of teachers in the 7 major divisions by academic rank

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As is evident by an inspection of Table 4, median salaries in the seven major divisions are characterized by a wide diversity.

The highest median salary for any of the fields of study is found in the major division of education, although agriculture has a median salary almost as large. Home economics pays its staff members the lowest median salary. Between education and home economics,

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