Full professors at Stanford University make on average $39,000 more than their counterparts at UC Berkeley, reinforcing fears about UC's ability to recruit and retain top professors in the face of deep reductions in state support.
A full professor at UC Berkeley makes an average of $149,100, and at UCLA a full professor makes $153,700. Compare that to a full professor at Stanford who makes an average of $188,400, according to the latest American Association of University Professors salary survey published this week by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Berkeley and UCLA rank second and third highest on the list of full professor salaries at public institutions nationally. (Surprisingly, the New Jersey of Institute of Technology pays the highest average salaries) Stanford ranks fourth on the list of private universities, with Harvard at the top with an average full professor salary of $193,800.
The differences extends to lower ranked faculty as well. Associate professors on average make $101,500 at Berkeley, $100,600 at UCLA and $126,800 at Stanford. Assistant professors earn $88,400 at Berkeley, $84,000 at UCLA, and $103,400 at Stanford, according to the survey.
The Stanford differential is most problematical for Berkeley, because, as UC Berkeley spokeswoman Claire Holmes said, "Stanford is our biggest competitor in this market."
"There is typically more movement (of professors) between us and Stanford than there is between us and Harvard and MIT," she said. "If they want to stay on the West Coast, those are the two options for them to explore among elite higher education institutions."
The gap is even greater at other UC campuses: Full professors at UC Davis, for example, earn $123,800, $132,000 at UC Irvine, $125,100 at UC Riverside, $136,300 at UC San Diego, $132,000 at UC Santa Barbara, and $120,500 at UC Santa Cruz.
The salary gap has existed for years, but Berkeley officials worry that as the endowments of private universities recover and Sacramento inflicts ever-deeper budget cuts on UC, the gap will continue to widen.
The salary gap grew dramatically for most of the last decade, until 2008, but interestingly has not grown since then, despite major reductions in state revenues, according to history and economics professor Jan de Vries.