Full-time professors at GW earn 7 percent less than their peers at similar private universities, data from the American Association of University Professors shows.
Full professors earned $146,400, about $11,000 less than average at private doctoral universities, according to the fiscal year 2010 report. Associate professors earned $100,200, similar to national figures. Assistant professors earned on average $82,100, about $4,200 less than their counterparts nationwide.
John Curtis, the American Association of University Professors’ director of research and public policy, said the salary rate for professors can vary based on an individuals’ tenure, research or longevity at a university.
“There are a number of factors that influence faculty salaries within a college or university,” Curtis said.
The University aims to be at or above the 80th percentile for doctoral institutions as published by the association, spokesperson Michelle Sherrard said – a mark GW met in 2010.
“GW does not benchmark faculty salaries to the average of all private doctoral institutions,” Sherrard said.
From 2002 to 2007, faculty salaries increased an average of 21.5 percent over roughly the same period, according to a 2009 Faculty Senate report.
The gap between a GW professor’s salary and that of his or her peers is falling. GW professors made $12,000 more in the 2010 to 2011 academic year than they did in the 2008 to 2009 academic year – twice the national increase in that period. While other universities froze salaries during the recession, GW bucked that trend by offering annual merit increases, likely causing the decrease in the salary gap.
“Personally I don’t make much money,” Nabil Mikhail, an adjunct professor of political science, said. “Teaching is a difficult job, but we are part of a good system at a good University.”
The high cost of living in the District adds to the strain on faculty, Mikhail noted, but said he felt the benefits of teaching at GW negate the pay discrepancy.
“GW is a prestigious University,” he said. “Ultimately, the question lies in how to make an equilibrium.”