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The Dartmouth
May 22, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Faculty salaries low among Ivies

Though Dartmouth's average faculty salaries were ranked seventh in the Ivy League in a recently released report from the American Association of University Professors, professors at the College are doing just fine compared to the national average.

According to the report, the average Dartmouth faculty member receives $118,000 per year including salary and compensation. By comparison, the national average is $92,777 for university faculty.

The disparity is equally large when average salary is broken down by title. At Dartmouth, full-time professors receive $145,800 on average in salary and benefits, while associate professors rake in $104,900 with compensation on average. National average for full-time and associate professors with compensation are $121,572 and $85,095 respectively.

However, within the Ivy League, Dartmouth professors no longer come out at the top of the range. Six other Ivies boast larger average faculty salaries, according to the report -- from highest to lowest, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Yale, Columbia -- while only Brown has a lower average salary. Penn's average faculty salary including compensation is $147,800. Harvard tops the list of compensation for full-time professors, however, averaging $179,400.

"The Ivy [League] is very competitive in general," Provost Barry Scherr said. "All those schools have extensive graduate programs, so they are paying more for professors in highly specialized areas."

Vice President of Finance Julie Dolan warned that reports such as the one by the AAUP do not normally provide accurate measures of salary comparison.

"It is very difficult to generalize or conclude anything from average data," Dolan said, "because it is very hard to find meaningful conclusions using averages. Results can be skewed either way by one or two very high or low salaries, especially for small-size institutions like Dartmouth."

The report, which was titled "Unequal Progress," also focused on the growing disparities between faculty salaries at public versus private institutions. The average faculty salary including compensation at private institutions was comparable to Dartmouth's at $112,307. However, a steep drop-off appeared when compared to public universities, where professors' compensation averaged just $88,123.

The report also found that while salaries of women in higher education were catching up to that of men, a substantial disparity still exists. Women earn on average 88.8 percent of men's average salary at the full-time professor level, with female professors at doctoral institutions pulling in $90,502 compared to the $99,502 average for men. Meanwhile, the number of female professors is increasing. Women now comprise 22.3 percent of full university professorships, up from 21.4 percent last year.

The salaries of Dartmouth professors reflect similar inequalities. Full-time male professors make on average $118,000 while females make just $100,500.

Two areas where Dartmouth ranked higher both nationally and within the Ivy League were the percentage of tenured faculty and the salary increases for continuing faculty.

The study reported that 98 percent of full professors at Dartmouth are tenured, which is fifth in the Ivy League, and in the top 95th percentile in the country. Similarly, Dartmouth reported a 5.5 percent increase in faculty salaries for continuing professors, which also garners a fifth-place rank in the Ivy League.

"Increases for continuing faculty is just one way we are trying to catch up a bit in relation to comparable schools," Scherr said.

Dartmouth's associate professors are also seeing greater salaries in comparison to their full-time counterparts. While the disparity between Dartmouth full-time professors and Harvard full-time professors is nearly $35,000 in average salaries, the gap between associate professors at Dartmouth and Harvard is a mere $400.

"Harvard and Yale often hire at the professorial rank to start with," Scherr explained, "So they would have fewer high-paid junior professors. We do most of our hiring at the junior level, and many of our associate professors stay at that rank longer -- six years on average -- allowing them to reach higher salary levels."