Salaries & Wages account for around 61% of General Operating Expenditure (GOE) – just over half a billion dollars at the average Top 25 university in 2022.
This Topic plots the progression of this expenditure by type since 2001, based on the three CAUBO definitions (see HERE – Page 14):
Academic Salaries (Academic ranks): Includes “both full and part time staff members who hold an academic rank at the reporting institution and are engaged in instruction and research activities.” These are the most experienced faculty.
Academic Salaries (Other instruction and research): Covers “payments to both full and part time staff and non-staff members without academic rank at the reporting institution, but who are engaged in instruction and research activities.” This category includes part-time adjunct faculty, sessional lecturers, teaching assistants, and “graduate and undergraduate students undertaking instruction and research activities”.
Other Salaries & Wages: Includes “All full and part time non-instructional staff” – clerical and secretarial, professional and managerial, janitorial, trades and maintenance. It also “includes payments to individuals who may hold an academic rank, or equivalent thereto, but are engaged in activities other than instruction and research”, such as the president, and vice-presidents.
The chart below shows the change across the Top 25 since 2001 in “Real Dollars” (adjusted for both inflation and enrollment). Positive values denote increases exceeding inflation and enrollment combined:
Top 25 Change Overview (Inflation-adjusted):
- Academic Salaries (Academic Ranks) expenditure averaged $231 million in 2022 – up 79% since 2001 (24% since 2010). It now accounts for 46.0% of Total GO Salaries & Wages (49.0% in 2001, 47.2% in 2010).
- Academic Salaries (Other Instruction & Research) expenditure averaged $37 million in 2022 – up 94% since 2001 (18% since 2010). It now accounts for 4.6% of Total GO Salaries & Wages (4.6% in 2001, 4.9% in 2010).
- Total Academic Salaries expenditure averaged $268 million in 2022 (up 81% since 2001 (32% since 2010). It now accounts for 32.9% of Total GO Salaries & Wages (35.3% in 2001, 33.8% in 2010).
- Other Salaries & Wages expenditure averaged $233 million in 2022 – up 102% since 2001 (32% since 2010). It now accounts for 28.6% of Total GO Salaries & Wages (27.4% in 2001, 27.4% in 2010).
- Total Salaries & Wages expenditure averaged $501 million in 2022 – up 90% since 2001 (28% since 2010). It now accounts for 61.4% of Total GOE (62.7% in 2001, 61.2% in 2010).
To add perspective to the above numbers, average enrollment has increased by 57% since 2001 (21% since 2010).
The prioritization of non-academic over academic is again very clear, but there are also signs of the move away from tenured faculty and towards adjunct faculty, sessional lecturers and teaching assistants:
- Academic Salaries accounted for 56.3% of GO salaries and wages in 2001, but that had fallen to 53.5% in 2022.
- Other Salaries and Wages increased from 43.7% in 2001 to 46.5% in 2022.
- Academic Ranks represented 87.1% of Faculty Salaries in 2001, but this share had fallen slightly – to 86.1% – in 2022.
The underlying methodology for the tables below can be seen HERE. Each table opens in a new tab.