Effect of Age on Salary Among Tenure-Track Faculty

February 24, 2020

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Title:  The Aging of Tenure-Track Faculty in Higher Education: Implications for Succession and Diversity

Source: College and University Professional Association for Human Resources

Author: Jasper McChesney and Jacqueline Bichsel

A report released by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) on tenure-track faculty studied several factors, including: distribution across age and rank, variation of age across disciplines, relationship between faculty age and salary, and representation of women and people of color by age and rank.

Key findings include:

  • Increases in rank and age were correlated. The majority of new assistant professors were in their thirties, while nearly two-thirds of faculty older than 55 were full professors.
  • Older faculty generally had higher salaries than younger faculty. As age increased, salaries increased at a faster rate among full professors than among associate professors. In this case, age was not necessarily correlated for assistant professors’ salaries.
  • The percentage of women and people of color decreased as rank increased from assistant to full professor. Women comprised 45 percent of faculty ages 55 or younger, but just 35 percent of those older than 55 years of age. Similarly, people of color accounted for 26 percent of faculty ages 55 or younger, but only 16 percent of faculty older than 55.
  • The age distribution of faculty varied across different disciplines. Communications technologies had the smallest percentage (less than 25 percent) of faculty older than 55, while almost half of legal professions and studies faculty were older than 55.

For more details, click here to read the full report.

—Yuan He


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