AAUP Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession 2022-2023

 AAUP released the Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2022–23, which presents key findings from the AAUP’s annual Faculty Compensation Survey. Considering survey data in the context of the global pandemic, it found declines in real wages for a third consecutive year, a persistent salary gap between men and women, and minimal recovery from job losses for faculty members on contingent appointments.

Data collection for the survey concluded in March 2023, with nearly 900 US colleges and universities providing employment data for more than 370,000 full-time and 90,000 part-time faculty members as well as senior administrators at more than 500 institutions.

Key findings:

  • Despite increases in average salaries of 4.1 percent for full-time faculty members from fall 2021 to fall 2022—the greatest one-year increase since 1990–91—real average salaries decreased 2.4 percent after adjusting for inflation.
  • Real average salaries have declined sharply for three consecutive years, with a cumulative decrease of 7.5 percent from fall 2019 to fall 2022.
  • Average full-time faculty salaries for women were 82.3 percent of those for men in 2022–23. The gender pay gap is greatest at the full professor rank.
  • Part-time faculty members received an average of $3,874 per course section in 2021–22, a 0.8 percent increase from 2020–21 but an 8.9 percent increase from 2019–20.
  • From fall 2019 through fall 2022, median presidential salaries increased 9.6 percent in nominal terms, compared with a 7.1 percent increase in average salaries for full-time faculty members during the same period.
  • The number of faculty members on contingent appointments decreased by over 57,000 or 6.9 percent from fall 2019 to fall 2020, and had recovered by only about 25 percent in fall 2021.
  • The number of graduate student employees plummeted when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, decreasing by 13,551 or 3.7 percent from fall 2019 to fall 2020 but then recovering by 90 percent in fall 2021.

The report and associated data can be found on the AAUP website.

AAUP Research Department


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Lapses in the State Budget and How it impacts state employees


  1. What is a lapse? Lapses are uncommitted funds that remain unspent at the close of a fiscal year and are returned to the fund from which they were originally appropriated or allocated. Lapsed money can also be reallocated to other parts of the budget.
  2. Does every budget have lapses built in?
    1. With a biennium budget around $50 billion, some amount of lapses is expected to be built into each budget. For example, when an employee retires, it might take a few months to replace that employee, those few months of salary ‘savings’ contribute to the overall lapse in savings.   Lapses are also created by delays in starting new programs, and/or higher than predicted federal reimbursements of state programs.
  1. Why is this year’s lapses line item so big?
    1. One way to get around the spending cap is to build savings targets into the budget plan through assumptions. The new budget recently passed assumes the governor will lower General Fund spending by $134 million next fiscal year and by $183 million in 2024-25 by finding savings along the way for a total of $317 million over the biennium.

This figure represents a significant increase in lapses than what we normally see in a budget, especially during years of surplus, and is a consequence of our Governor’s rigid adherence to the spending cap.

  1. What do lapses mean for state employees?
    1. Typically when significant lapses are included in the budget it is in during years of budget crises  – assuming large lapses avoids the General Assembly taking responsibility for cuts and programs in services and leaves it to the governor to implement the savings through job freezes, agency allotment reductions,  or sometimes even layoffs.   However no budget crisis is expected in the upcoming biennium.

So in this sense, the assumed lapses in the current budget may turn out to be essentially an accounting gimmick having no impact at all.    However, they do give the Secretary of OPM additional power to slow or fail to fill positions, and so could end up exacerbating our ongoing fight to protect and expand public services for residents, and job opportunities for state employees.

  1. What is SEBAC doing? 
    1. The assumed lapses are but one part of the problem with the budget. The organized efforts of our members along with allies in the broader labor movement and Recovery for All pushed the budget in as positive direction as we could – significantly better than the governor’s original starting point.  But the governor’s dogmatic interpretation of the spending cap has resulted in a budget that fails to seize real opportunities for progress, especially for working families, black, brown and white, and even moves backwards in crucial areas such as funding for public higher education.  It also presents challenges to getting fair contracts as we move into wage reopeners and new full agreements.  We will need our members to continue to fight against the damage this budget does, and for greater equity and fairness for our members and all working families.