Faculty Focus


More Time Teaching Correlates with Less Pay

In the early 1990s, higher education researcher James Fairweather used data from the National Survey of Postsecondary Faculty to explore relationships between teaching, research, and faculty pay. Five years after this first analysis, Fairweather repeated the study to see if a growing emphasis on teaching was being reflected in faculty salaries.

Fairweather used three variables related to teaching:
1. hours per week spent in the classroom;
2. whether the instructor taught only undergraduate students, both graduate and undergraduate students, or graduate students only; and
3. whether the faculty member showed evidence of collaborative instruction.

In the 1992-93 study teaching and research behaviors explained between 47 and 67 percent of the variance in faculty salaries, and in 1998-99 between 41 and 54 percent. The number of hours spent in the classroom per week was significantly, negatively related to salaries at research, doctoral-granting, and comprehensive colleges both in 1992-93 and in 1998-99.
At liberal arts colleges, the amount of time faculty spend in the classroom per week was not significantly related to pay in the first analysis, but it was slightly negatively related in 1998-99. “In sum, in 1998-99 for the vast majority of faculty irrespective of institutional type teaching an additional hour remained a negative factor in pay and publishing an extra article a positive factor in pay.” (p. 412)

Reference: Fairweather, J. (2005). Beyond the rhetoric: Trends in the relative value of teaching and research in faculty salaries. Journal of Higher Education, 76 (4), 401-422.

Excerpted from Academic Leader, January 2006.