COLUMBIA — The average salary for MU ranked faculty dropped by about half a percent this year, while the average salary for the Association of American Universities went up by about 2 percent.
MU is still ranked last in terms of faculty salary compared to its peer institutions, according to a recent report from the American Association of University Professors.
"That's a concern," MU spokesman Christian Basi said. "It has been a concern for several years because we compete with many of the universities in the AAU for the best faculty members, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve our compensation."
Basi said through MU's comprehensive campaign, the university has been able to raise $1 billion for such things as creating new endowed chairs, which allows the university to offer increased salaries to faculty members or recruit better-qualified faculty members.
The slight dip in overall faculty salaries occurred during a continuing wage and hiring freeze. Basi suggested the dip could be attributed to smaller salaries for faculty who replaced those who retired. Also, he said, some employees may have moved from full-time to part-time status.
For the next year, the University of Missouri System Board of Curators is looking at offering an average 2 percent merit-based salary increase for faculty and staff.
The average salary for ranked faculty at MU this year is $81,300. The average for the AAU schools is $98,824. Among peer institutions, University of California at Los Angeles faculty has the highest average — $126,100.
Average salary for MU full professors this year is $111,100. In this category, MU ranks 34th out of 35 public members of the AAU.
MU also ranks lowest in average salary for associate professors at $73,500.
The data used by the association only includes faculty whose work is 50 percent or more focused on instruction, Ann Patton, a programmer analyst expert for MU, said.
It also does not include part-time faculty, instructors or faculty from the medical school. The data set included 1,083 professors.