IBHE reports low salaries of NIU profs.

By Diane Buerger

Full-time NIU professors are paid an average salary of $46,800, slightly below the median of comparable public universities, the Illinois Board of Higher Education reported Tuesday.

However, the board also reported NIU pays the highest salaries for full-time professors compared to the two other Board of Regents universities. The Board governs NIU, Illinois State University in Normal and Sangamon State University in Springfield.

The average salary for a full-time ISU professor is $43,700, and an SSU professor’s average salary is $41,500 for the nine-and-one-half month salary level.

The report failed to include insurance and other “fringe benefits” because they vary from school to school. The board also noted that salaries can vary due to different departments, academic programs and competition for faculty in some disciplines.

Although business and computer science departments have seen increased enrollment, the number of faculty in these areas has decreased. The IBHE said the highest salary levels for full and assistant professors at public colleges and universities are in engineering, business and computer information. Full engineering professors are paid about $53,998.

“There is a lot of competition with business and industry,” said IBHE Director Richard Wagner. “We are not only competing with other colleges and universities, but also with business and industry,” he said.

The report, which includes information compiled by the American Council on Education, suggests the college faculty labor market is tightening in fields such as mathematics, social sciences, natural sciences, nursing and education.

The average of all faculty salaries for all public universities increased by 6.9 percent from fiscal year 1988 to FY89. The average faculty salary was $38,900 in FY89.

The board said salaries have not kept pace with the national median since 1975. The average substantially dropped below that of other states in FY88 when funding was not allocated for general salary increases. However, a 5.7 percent salary increase in FY89 produced a slight increase.

“When budget allocations are started in December (for the FY91 budget), you will see salary increases remain at a high priority,” Wagner said.