Legislature Considers Revamp of CPEC Faculty Salary Comparisons

At a March 14 meeting, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #2 (Education) will be discussing a revamp of the CPEC faculty salary comparison methodology. CUCFA is using the opportunity to argue the need to consider relative costs of living in any revamp. Below is a letter CUCFA sent to be distributed to the committee members.

March 12, 2007

Dear Assemblymember Brownley:

The Council of University of California Faculty Associations respectfully requests that the Assembly Budget Committee substantially improve the purchasing power of UC faculty salaries vs. those of its most logical competitors. In what follows we define the latter to be the four public institutions that comprise the so-called “comparison eights” in the CPEC methodology. (In recent years the private institutions’ salaries have gone almost off the chart.)

According to data on 2005-2006 faculty salaries published by the Chronicle of Higher Education the average salaries (in thousands of dollars) of UC faculty members were:

Full rank: 128.4 126.2 118.1 115.1 112.2 107.0 106.4 105.7
Associate 82.0 81.9 73.6 70.9 74.6 70.2 72.0 69.4
Assistant 67.0 74.1 66.1 63.9 65.8 63.1 64.9 61.2

For the four public institutions in the CPEC comparison eight the reported salaries were:

U Illinois U Michigan SUNY Buffalo U Virginia
Full rank: 116.6 125.6 111.6 123.1
Associate 77.6 83.7 76.9 82.7
Assistant 69.6 72.8 63.7 68.0

The relative salaries among the UC campuses clearly correlate with the cost of living in the several areas of the state as determined from real estate internet site calculators. To maintain the same standard of living, a $100,000 salary in the Sacramento area would require salaries of:

San Francisco Orange County San Diego Santa Barbara Riverside

Note, however, that on a comparative basis the purchasing power of a $100,000 salary in the Sacramento area would be achieved with the following salaries in the other four venues:

Champaign/Urbana Ann ArborBuffalo Charlottesville
$65,200 $68,800 $62,300 $83,300

The data above clearly show what the UC faculty have long known about the market for outstanding prospective faculty members: our absolute salaries are on the low side, but our comparative salaries are so poor that the quality of the institution as a whole could be irreversibly harmed. We urge the Legislature to give the utmost consideration to this matter in the 2007-2008 State budget.

Respectfully yours,
Charles P. Nash
Vice President, External Relations