The Moon Room

A Community Forum on Guilford College Faculty Life

Updated salary comparisons from AAUP data

November 7th, 2020

Obviously, a lot is going on at Guilford these days. Some of that has had me looking back at salary figures in response to requests from Guilford allies, so I thought I’d take a moment and provide updates to the comparisons I usually do between Guilford salaries and our traditional peer group, AAUP Category IIB (private liberal arts colleges). This may be my last such update, because as of last Thursday my tenured position at Guilford was terminated effective in May.

This first graph shows Guilford’s reported salary by faculty rank. It’s a little confusing, but the colors are consistent with the ranks. Guilford values are the bigger lines, while peer medians are the thinner dotted lines (the ones that trend upward in parallel and are higher than Guilford’s). The last couple of years have been rough, with nearly no raises. Our gaps to peer medians have grown back to nearly the size of our worst moments back in 2016-17, eating up the significant raise that came in January 2017 with the adoption of the Compensation Plan. This gap is most pronounced at the higher faculty ranks, where decades of low or no raises have produced worse outcomes compared to the relatively recently-hired instructor and assistant pools, which are closer to market salaries. Note that these salary figures are in nominal dollars and are mostly flat over time. If we include cost-of-living increases (i.e. inflation), salaries in real dollars have dropped significantly over the period in question.

There are two data sources here. One is the college’s Factbook, which used to provide this information every year along with a wealth of other data. That was abolished as the Fernandes presidency began. However, faculty salary data are still reported to AAUP for Guilford and many other institutions as part of standard practice in higher education, so we still have numbers for those. Where the two data sources overlap, the numbers agree perfectly (with the exception of assistant professors in 2012-13).

This second graph shows our percentiles within the pool of about 230 category IIB liberal arts colleges that report to AAUP. Unsurprisingly, with no meaningful raises in the past couple of years, retirements of higher-paid colleagues, and very little new hiring, our percentiles at all ranks have dropped nearly down to their low point in 2016-17.

A final note – President Carol Moore recently said in a town hall that this is not the peer group we should use, and that our salaries are in line with North Carolina colleges. She provided this assertion with no support or detail with regard to this set of peers nor with any data, which is typical of her pronouncements whenever comparisons with peers are presented. I find it difficult to believe that our results within North Carolina would be much different from our comparison with national peers.

There was a modest effort in the waning years of the Chabotar presidency from non-academic college administrators to use all private colleges in North Carolina as a peer group. This includes a number of colleges that are nothing like Guilford, e.g. a big number of tiny bible colleges, along with a few high-power ones like Duke and Wake Forest. To me, this seems more an effort to duck responsibility for the poor faculty salary numbers than to address them in a serious way. I do not know if this is the group that Carol purports to be observing, because she provided no detail, but my suspicion is that it might be, because adding a bunch of tiny religious Christian schools drops the median in a way that looking only at liberal arts colleges does not. Given the recent restructuring through massive cuts made nearly entirely without attention to identy but rather on the basis of current enrollment, it is very hard to identify what kind of institution Carol thinks Guilford might be or how she views its identity.

Process for applying for study leaves

August 18th, 2016

From Beth Rushing:

If you are eligible to apply for study leave this year (to take study leave in the 17-18 academic year), please submit a request for study leave to your department chair no later than September 1.

Your request, along with your chair’s recommendation, will be due to me no later than September 15.

If the person requesting study leave is a department chair, they will submit their request to the most senior member of the department, who will then forward their recommendation.

From there, the requests go to Clerk’s Committee and then the President.

If you have a question about whether you are eligible for study leave next year, please contact Kelly Bull.

I’ve attached the Faculty Handbook section on study leaves, and am also happy to answer any questions you may have.

Handbook section on study leave:

5.240 Faculty Study Leaves

The College provides for full-time tenured faculty members to receive study leaves.

The following policies apply to full-time tenured teaching faculty only. Newly tenured faculty may apply for their first leave during their seventh year of full time teaching at Guilford College in order to take leave their eighth year. Faculty members who receive credit towards tenure when they are hired may apply for study leave during their sixth year of full time teaching at Guilford . Thereafter, tenured faculty may apply for leave in the sixth year of service since the academic year in which the last study leave ended in order to take leave in their seventh year. For tenured faculty with joint faculty/administrative responsibilities see “Allocation of Joint Faculty/Administrative Positions” (2.120, #7). Periods of personal leave will not count towards the six years of service, nor will they be basis for refusal of leave. Unpaid leaves of absence for grant supported research or teaching improvement purposes may count towards the six years of service. Tenured faculty members are encouraged to apply for a leave at all stages of their career. Such leaves may be taken for one or two semesters. Faculty on study leave are granted a maximum of $1000 study leave expense grant plus regular travel funds. See “Individual Grants for the Improvement of Teaching” (5.321).

Recipients of a one-semester leave will have no College duties during that period of time and will receive full salary and benefits. Recipients of a two-semester leave will have no College duties for an entire year and will receive two-thirds annual salary and will continue under the benefit plan for that academic year. These salary provisions are unaffected by external funding acquired by the faculty member.

The primary purposes of study leaves are scholarly activity and personal renewal and refreshment, benefiting the individual, the individual’s students, the teaching profession and the College. The leave may be used for the preparation of new courses, for post-doctoral study at a major university, for research and writing, for public service, for professional development, and/or for academically related travel.

The selection process is guided by an evaluation by the Clerk’s Committee of the written proposal submitted by the individual requesting a study leave. The proposal should be a detailed statement, two or three pages in length, describing specifically the nature of the contemplated plan, the methods to be used in developing and evaluating it, the time schedule for completion, and the anticipated benefit of the study leave activities to the individual, the individual’s students, the teaching profession, and the College. While study leaves are understood to be a dimension of College faculty careers, they are awarded selectively, not automatically.

Faculty members, departments, and the Academic Dean should make every effort to inform and discuss with one another the impact of anticipated faculty absences for study leaves, personal leaves, leading study abroad programs, and administrative responsibilities. When the Clerk’s Committee considers study leave proposals, the Academic Dean should inform the Clerk’s Committee about all anticipated faculty absences.

Institutional needs may take precedence over individual preferences. The Clerk’s Committee, in consultation with the Academic Dean and the President, will balance the individual request with the needs of the department and the institution. Although the quality of the faculty study leave proposal is an important component in the Clerk’s Committee’s decision, so too are other factors such as years since a prior leave, and departmental staffing needs.

Two copies of requests for study leave must be submitted to the department chairperson by AUGUST 15. Requests, accompanied by recommendations from the department chairperson, are submitted to the Academic Dean by SEPTEMBER 1. The chairperson’s (or most senior department member if the chair is submitting the proposal) recommendation should consist of at least one paragraph describing the department’s support for the leave and how the department plans to deal with the absence of the faculty member on leave and any other anticipated changes in faculty teaching responsibilities. Accompanied by recommendations from chairpersons and the Academic Dean, requests are presented to the Clerk’s Committee. The Dean forwards all recommendations to the President for final decision, after which the candidates are notified. Candidates must make a firm decision according to the stipulations of the letter recommending the leave as to whether to accept or to decline the leave. Candidates who have applied for outside funding which would affect the length of the study leave should stay in contact with the Dean and their department regarding the outcome of the outside funding request.

Upon return from the study leave, the recipient will submit a prompt written report to the Dean with a copy to the department chairperson, focusing upon the activities undertaken during the leave and projecting the benefits of those activities.

Faculty who are on study leave remain in every sense of the word employees of the College, differing from other faculty only in the duties expected of them during the leave. These duties, leading to professional growth and development, are of not less value to the institution than other faculty assignments. The decisions of the College, therefore, as to salary, raises and promotion are in no way affected by whether or not a faculty member has or has not been granted a study leave.

Individuals granted study leaves must return to the College to teach for at least one full academic year immediately following the leave year. Should the recipient choose to leave the College within one year following the study leave, repayment of all the monies advanced during the leave will be required. This will include salary, benefits and other monies including travel and other general expenses paid for or advanced to the faculty member during the leave. Normally, faculty members will be granted a study leave or a personal leave for only one year. Under unusual circumstances the college will consider personal leaves for an additional time period. The proposal will follow the procedures outlined in Faculty Personal Leaves (5.220) above. If any portion of the leave includes study leave, the faculty member must return to the college to teach for at least one year following the personal leave.

With the specific approval of the Academic Dean, part-time faculty may be employed to teach courses which cannot adequately be covered by other members of the department during the absence of a faculty member on study leave. Departments are encouraged, however, to formulate long-range curricular schedules which permit members to take study leaves with a minimum of disruption to the educational programs of the College as a whole, the departments, and students. Normally, it will be in the best interests of the College if a minimum of part-time instruction is required to fill gaps created by study leaves.

Data requested at Faculty Forum on Compensation

February 25th, 2016

From Christine Riley:

As promised, I’m sending along the website where you can find the CUPA data we referenced. CUPA is the gold standard for staff salaries in higher education, and they are the only organization [that I know of] that surveys faculty salaries by discipline. This information is publicly available.
Look for the link for “Executive Summary” on this page.  There are also reports from the past 7 years, if you’re interested. Drilling down into this data requires institutional membership [which I believe we are getting.]
Also, Damon asked how many faculty are in each rank at Guilford:
Instructors: 11
Lecturers:   17
Asst Prof:    33
Assoc Prof:  29
Professors:  35
These include those with ‘visiting’ in their titles.
UPDATE: Here’s a document that lists visiting vs. tenured/tenure-track faculty: Faculty list

Updated Stipends and Course Releases List

November 8th, 2015

I’m updating a post I made from about a month ago (see here) about the course releases and stipends we’re awarding. In some cases, people reported a different amount or type of compensation than was listed. Changes from the last version are highlighted in yellow. Also, in the case of course releases, several people reported earning them but being unable to take them, and in those cases, I’ve starred the positions. It is not known to me whether in those cases people were paid for overloads for the untaken releases.


Position Compensation List Revised

Also, some have asked about course releases and stipends for internships and independent studies. Those are now covered by Faculty Handbook section 3.110:

Full-time faculty members are given teaching credit for instructing independent projects and internships. Guidelines for credit are as follows:
Credit toward a course-load reduction is awarded for each student supervised in internship/independent study if the instructor teaches at least 45 students during the semester the internship is supervised. Records for credit are maintained in the Registrar’s Office.
For every 18 students supervised in internship/ independent study, fulltime faculty are entitled to a one-course reduction in their teaching load in some future semester.
Internship/independent study credit is awarded on courses numbered 260, 270, 290, 460, 470, 480, 481, 490, and Theatre Studies practicum.
Credit for internship/independent study supervision is allowed only if the internship or independent study is completed.
The maximum yearly accumulation of faculty internship/independent study credits is 8.
Faculty must consult with their department about the timing of their course reduction and must notify the Academic Dean in writing of their intention to take a course reduction. Faculty could be asked to postpone their course reduction if the course reduction is inconsistent with departmental or College needs.


New Online Tech Training & Professional Development Tool: Atomic Learning!

March 3rd, 2015

The College is dedicated to bringing technology training to the entire Guilford Community through a partnership with Atomic Learning. Training videos and assessments are easily integrated into Moodle, and allow faculty to focus instructional time on teaching their subject discipline, not technology!

Available 24/7 from campus or home, it includes more than 60,000 step-by-step tutorials on common software such as Microsoft® Office, Adobe® CS6 and Moodle®, etc.— plus workshops specific to faculty or students on topics such as plagiarism and online courses.

Log in using your Campus username and password at: and contact an RES Team member if you have any questions.

New instructional technology listserv

February 3rd, 2015

Mimi Smith-DeCoster submitted the following announcement for the community:

Based on the preliminary results of the 2014 Faculty Survey of Instructional Technology, many faculty noted their interest in a space for our community to share ideas, ask questions, and build community with peers to support our use of technology for innovative, student-centered learning. To support this stated need, the Research and Educational Services team is launching a listserv called TLT (Technology for Learning and Teaching) Co-op–and we’ll also host workshops and other ways fostering dialogue and support for faculty.  If you are interested and engaged in trying new technologies that support teaching and learning (e.g. Moodle, PollEverywhere, Google Apps, etc.) please join this group at

Contact Mimi or another member of the RES team if you have questions.

Help understanding tuition remission changes

January 23rd, 2015

Hi, folks – In light of the changes announced to the tuition remission policy announced today, I’m trying to understand how the tuition remission policy used to work. If anybody out there has used the tuition remission benefit and would be willing to share your experience, please let me know by e-mail ( or, if you’re comfortable, just post in the comments below. I’d welcome any other related comments or opinions also.

To be clear, I did not know about any proposed changes in this policy, or even that they were under discussion, before reading the Beacon today.

The Moon Room

A Community Forum on Guilford College Faculty Life