Pay rises faster at Indiana public universities than national peers

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Most of Indiana’s public universities gave their professors higher-than-average raises this school year, according to a new national survey of higher-ed salaries.

One reason for the relatively generous raises: Indiana universities have not been hit quite as hard as their peers by cuts to state funding.

The annual survey, conducted by the American Association of University Professors, showed average salary increases at Indiana schools exceeding averages of peer institutions nationally. Those schools were Ball State University, all seven campuses operated by Indiana University, three of the four campuses operated by Purdue University, and at Ivy Tech Community College.

The data represent average pay for full-time professors and instructors of all ranks at each state-supported institution. Purdue’s West Lafayette campus had the highest average salary, $101,000, followed closely by IU-Bloomington, where salaries averaged $98,400.

The lowest-paid faculty were at Ivy Tech, averaging $47,000.

In 2010, former Gov. Mitch Daniels cut funding to state colleges and universities by $150 million. But those reductions were less than in most other states during the 2008 recession and slow economic recovery. The Legislature is now close to passing a budget that would restore some, but not all, of those cuts.

Since 2008, appropriations to the universities have fallen an inflation-adjusted 6.7 percent, the association said.

Only eight states have seen a smaller decline in state funding. State funding cuts since 2008 have averaged 18.4 percent nationally—nearly triple what Indiana experienced.

“Most state budgets reveal a continued trend of disinvestment from the sector through reductions in their annual appropriations for higher education, which historically have been the single largest revenue source for most public colleges and universities,” John Curtis and Saranna Thornton wrote in a report accompanying the association survey.

Across all public research universities in Indiana, faculty salaries rose an average of 1.7 percent for the 2012-13 academic year, according to the survey.

But salaries rose 2.7 percent at Ball State in Muncie, 2.3 percent at IU’s Bloomington campus and 1.7 percent at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus.

When benefits and other compensation were factored in, Ball State professors earned 3.1 percent more, Purdue-West Lafayette professors 2.2 percent more, and IU-Bloomington professors just 0.7 percent more.

Inflation averaged 2.1 percent in 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which offset most of the those compensation increases.

Inflation has eaten up most faculty pay increases for the past decade, Curtis and Thornton noted in their report.

“Indeed, average full-time faculty salaries, adjusted for inflation, actually decreased at public master’s-granting institutions and community colleges, and increased by less than 1 percent at public doctoral universities and baccalaureate colleges over the decade,” they wrote.

At IU and Purdue’s regional campuses, pay increases ranged from a low of 0.7 percent at Purdue-Calumet to 3.1 percent at IUPUI. Similar institutions nationally averaged increases of 0.8 percent to 1.2 percent.

At Ivy Tech, which operates 31 campuses around Indiana, salaries rose 1.3 percent in the most recent year, compared with a decline nationally among similar institutions of 1.1 percent.

Only at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville did average faculty pay decline for the 2012-13 school year, according to the survey. Average salaries at the school fell 1.7 percent compared with the previous academic year.

But USI ramped up spending on benefits, which boosted overall faculty compensation an astounding 12.5 percent compared with the previous year.

Data were not available in this year’s survey for Indiana State University or for Vincennes University.


  • I agree
    I am at one of Indiana's universities and I also do not come close to making the average salary for Ivy Tech. (I make less than 40,000/year and have 15 years experience.) Our last raise was 2% (roughly 720/year)and our insurance cost increased by more than that, plus our parking costs went up. I also have had to pay out of my own pocket to have tests printed. I have to pick up a couple of additional classes at other universities to make ends meet, but have been told that we will no longer be allowed to hold employment outside of the University. At the rate things are going, I won't be able to afford to teach.
  • Apples to apples?
    Did you know that many administrators who make six-figure salaries are also listed as faculty, a fact that tends to skew the average? I am one of the highest-paid lecturers in my public university system, yet I do not make the average to match Ivy Tech--and that is with more than 20 years as a faculty member with my current employer and more than 30 years of teaching experience overall. Each year, I have received evaluations listing me as excellent in teaching and excellent in service. However, last year's "raise pool" granted only a 1.5% raise to those of us who were excellent (others got less, and each year only two faculty members in our department are selected to receive "merit pay" of more than the raise pool amount). The grand total of $645. I received as my raise was offset by the additional $100. a month I now have to pay for my health care (the same level of care I had the year before). This year, I am bringing home less money each month than I did last year. However, I still pay $200. a year to park in the university lot and donate about 5% of my salary back to students for scholarships and other campus causes. And the previous comment is accurate: staff do not have the opportunity to "share the wealth." While your facts may be accurate, your implication that most of Indiana's public university educators and support personnel receive great financial profit is misleading.
    • Faculty salaries, that is
      Wish your headline made it clear that you're talking about faculty salaries, not staff pay. There's a big discrepancy between the two.

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