The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania operates 14 universities under the auspices of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, or PASSHE, that offer 120 degree and certificate programs. According to PASSHE statistics, 90 percent of the students attending its schools have in-state status. The nearly 6,000 faculty members employed by these state-owned institutions negotiate their compensation and employment contracts with PASSHE through the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, or APSCUF.
The 2010 Faculty Handbook published by PASSHE's Cheyney University outlines experience qualifications needed for the four faculty pay ranges established by the Commonwealth's Act 182 in 1965. Instructors need three years of teaching experience, a bachelor’s degree and 15 hours of post-graduate credits toward a master’s degree. To be named an assistant professor at a PASSHE school, a faculty member must hold a master’s degree, have taught for four years and earned 10 semester hours toward a terminal, or doctorate, degree. Associate and full professors need a doctorate. The associate professor can substitute a master’s with 40 semester hours of course work toward the doctorate. Associate professors require five years or more of teaching experience. Full professors must have taught at least seven years.
The collective bargaining agreement between the faculty union and PASSHE, ratified in 2007, extends through the 2010-2011 academic year. It presents 13 pay steps for each of four pay ranges. For the 2010-2011 academic year, the annual salaries for the four ranges in pay step one are $44,795.24, $51,826.57, $60,030.04 and $72,996.97. The corresponding annual salaries in step 13 are $66,222.38, $76,660.85, $88.744.68 and $107,869.99. Each step also specifies regular weekly (nine-month positions) and regular bi-weekly (12-month positions) amounts for each pay range. According to PASSHE, this compensation system puts all academic specialties on equal ground. Employment time determines advancement through the 13 steps. Performance evaluations, scholarly development, service and teaching experience determine promotion and tenure opportunities.
Academic faculty members are compensated for work undertaken in addition to their classroom responsibilities. For instance, the 2007 collective bargaining agreement provides a sliding scale of stipends given to teaching faculty members when they serve as department heads. The stipend increases by department size, from $1,000 for as many as five, to $3,200 for a 26-member department. Assistant department chairpersons get an annual $1,000 stipend. Those instructing an online, or distance education course, will earn $250 per remote site plus $25 per student enrolled. An $800 stipend applies to faculty who develop an online, web-based class, while $400 will be paid for developing a video course. After a distance learning course has been presented four years, academic faculty will be compensated $100 for its redevelopment.
A combined enrollment of 117,000 at the 14 Universities of Pennsylvania—West Chester, Slippery Rock, Shippensburg, Millersville, Mansfield, Lock Haven, Kutztown, Indiana, Edinboro, East Stroudsburg, Clarion, Cheyney, California and Bloomsburg—make PASSHE the state’s largest higher education provider. In an April 2011 article, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported the average salary of a full professor as $103,700 at California University of Pennsylvania and $106,600 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.