Institutions’ contributions to full-time faculty members’ health and retirement benefits significantly declined in real dollars over the pandemic and still haven’t returned to their pre-2020 levels, the American Association of University Professors says in a new report.
“There were big differences between public and private institutions dealing with, say, medical insurance,” said Glenn Colby, AAUP’s senior researcher. “The private universities tend to pay more than public universities,” he said. “The public universities tend to give better benefits.”
The report, released Wednesday, says the median institutional retirement plan contribution per full-time faculty member actually increased, in nominal dollars, among public colleges and universities. But when the historic inflation is taken into account, contributions in real dollars decreased from public institutions, alongside private nonprofit ones.
“In real terms, the median institutional contribution per full-time faculty member to retirement plans decreased [from fall 2019 to fall 2022] by 5.6 percent among public institutions, by 15 percent among private-independent institutions, and by a staggering 25.2 percent among religiously affiliated institutions,” the report says.
As for health insurance, real-dollar, median institutional contributions per full-time faculty member “decreased 2.3 percent among public institutions, 5.8 percent among private-independent institutions and 9.7 percent among religiously affiliated institutions.”