From the Director of Budget and Planning: U-Idaho Releases Latest Faculty Compensation Peer Comparison

Thursday, November 29 2012

The overall faculty compensation at the University of Idaho is 92.6 percent of our peer average thanks to benefits that tend to be more generous than many of our peers.

Faculty salaries average 89.1 percent of our peer average that includes schools like Colorado State, Kansas State, Montana State, Utah State and Washington State universities, according to 2011-12 data collected by the American Association of University Professors and published in a special edition of Academe. See more here:

It is appropriate to compare our faculty salaries to peer averages, rather than to national averages, because these institutions share similar financial structures and hence, similar financial constraints on the funding available for salaries and compensation.

Institutional averages on faculty salaries provide a better comparison point than disciplinary averages by faculty rank, since each institution makes choices -- implicit or explicit – about which disciplines are at the heart of their mission. Effectively, no peer institution funds all of its programs at their peer average salary.

Although we do compete for faculty on a national or even international basis, that competition is also in terms of our overall financial structure and overall ability to pay competitive salaries and compensation based on our type of institution and regional location.

Of course there are differences that are less obvious. For example, while our peers are like us in many dimensions – academic mission, breadth of programs, regional location – they are generally larger, in some cases, much larger, than we are and enjoy higher levels of funding on a per student basis.

There is also the issue of student load. With comparable or even lower student-faculty ratios at peer institutions, funding per student is a critical component in being able to compensate faculty (and staff) at comparative levels.