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For first time in five years, StatsCan releases data on faculty numbers, salaries

The preliminary data was collected through UCASS, which was reinstated by the federal government last fall.

By LÉO CHARBONNEAU | APR 25 2017

After a five-year hiatus, Statistics Canada has released data on the number and salaries of full-time teaching staff at Canadian universities. The survey data was collected for the 2016-17 academic year through the University and College Academic Staff System. The federal government announced last September that it was reinstating UCASS, which had been discontinued by Statistics Canada in 2011 in response to funding cuts from the previous government.

The new release of information, on April 25, is preliminary data from 75 universities that reported to the survey. The overall number of full-time academic teaching staff in the reporting institutions increased slightly, by 2.9 percent, from 2010-11 to 2016-17. By comparison, StatsCan notes, university enrolments increased by 7.5 percent in these institutions from 2010-11 to 2014-15 (the latest year for which those data are available).

Applying the 2.9-percent growth to the 2010-11 total of 44,934 full-time teaching staff at all ranks would give an approximate number of 46,237 full-time faculty in Canada in 2016-17. Final numbers will be available later this year.

StatsCan is also looking into the feasibility of expanding the UCASS survey to include data on community colleges and on part-time university academic staff. “We plan on doing formal consultations later this year with the universities, community colleges and other stakeholders,” said Teresa Omiecinski, manager of UCASS at StatsCan.

As well, StatsCan has received the data collected over the past several years from the National Faculty Data Pool, which was set up by a consortium of Canadian universities to gather faculty data following the demise of UCASS. “We plan to process [the data] over the next couple of months,” said Ms. Omiecinski. “We are also investigating possible strategies to deal with the data gap of the institutions that did not participate in the NFDP.”

Increases at the higher ranks

The new UCASS data show that most of the growth in full-time teaching staff from 2010-11 to 2016-17 occurred at the higher ranks: the number of full professors and associate professors was up by 12.4 percent and 8.8 percent respectively. Meanwhile, the number of assistant professors dropped by 18.5 percent, and the number of those below assistant professor rank decreased by 2.7 percent.

Women account for an increasing proportion of full-time academic teaching staff, up from 37.6 percent in 2010-11 to 40.2 percent now. Most of those gains were in the higher ranks of full professor (up 31.4 percent) and associate professor (up 21.7 percent). While still the majority, the number of men who were full professors and associate professors increased at a slower pace than females, up 6.5 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.

Salaries

Among the 75 reporting institutions, the median salary in constant dollars of full-time academic teaching staff rose from $92,093 in 2010-11 to $98,400 in 2016-17, an increase of 6.8 percent. This gain was influenced by the increasing proportion of academic teaching staff in the upper ranks. In 2016-17, the median salary for full professors was $124,325, followed by associate professors at $97,423, assistant professors at $77,169 and those at ranks below assistant professors at $71,060.

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