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A Look at Tenure/Tenure Track by Rank for Selected Disciplines

April 2014

By Jessica Brown, Senior Manager, Knowledge Services, AACSB International

The tenure status of faculty at schools that offer tenure is a subject that is always interesting, if sometimes contentious. Schools that offer tenure or another type of full-time permanent position security often do so in order to promote academic freedom and to work to bring the best faculty to their schools—in turn offering their students the chance to study with these dedicated faculty members. As part of the annual Salary Survey, AACSB collects data at the individual incumbent full-time faculty member level including their rank, discipline, new hire status, salary, qualification type, gender, and tenure status. For the purposes of this survey, faculty are broken into two categories Tenure/Tenure Track, which includes all faculty that currently have tenure or are in a position that is on track to receive tenure, and Not on Tenure Track, which includes any full-time faculty member whose position is not eligible for tenure status. While we ask this question for all member schools worldwide, tenure track positions are not available at all schools in all world regions, depending on the policies of the school.

Of 28,761 full-time faculty reported in the United States, 76.4% were reported as being either tenured or on tenure track with 23.6% being not on tenure track. Of 6,498 full-time faculty reported by schools not in the United States, a total of 70.1% were reported as tenured or on tenure track with 29.9% reported as not on tenure track. A breakdown of the percentages by rank is provided below:

Percent by Tenure Status and Rank

U.S. Only

Percent Tenured/Tenure Track Not on Tenure Track
Professor 92.3% 7.7%
Associate Professor 91.9% 8.1%
Assistant Professor 87.0% 13.0%
Instructor 1.3% 98.7%

Global - Excluding U.S.

Percent Tenured/Tenure Track Not on Tenure Track
Professor 73.3% 26.7%
Associate Professor 77.8% 22.2%
Assistant Professor 78.6% 21.4%
Instructor 40.6% 59.4%

In addition to looking at the proportion of full-time faculty reports as tenured, it can be very interesting to review the differences in average salaries paid by tenure status. The average salaries for all disciplines combined and a breakdown for specific disciplines for the United States and for the Global survey participants excluding the United States are shown below.

Average Salary by Tenure Status and Rank

U.S. Only (Shown in USD)

Average Salary Tenured/Tenure Track Not on Tenure Track
Professor 153.5 133.6
Associate Professor 122.5 113.5
Assistant Professor 123.6 92.2
Instructor 81.5 72.7

Global - Excluding U.S. (Shown in USD)

Average Salary Tenured/Tenure Track Not on Tenure Track
Professor 135.7 150.5
Associate Professor 115.3 114.1
Assistant Professor 97.0 79.6
Instructor 67.3 78.0

Accounting – Average Salary by Tenure Status and Rank

U.S. Only (Shown in USD)

Global – Excluding U.S. (Shown in USD)

Finance – Average Salary by Tenure Status and Rank

U.S. Only (Shown in USD)

Global – Excluding U.S. (Shown in USD)

Management – Average Salary by Tenure Status and Rank

U.S. Only (Shown in USD)

Global – Excluding U.S. (Shown in USD)