The academic caliber and reputation of the University of California are determined by the quality of its faculty. Accordingly, recruiting and retaining world-class faculty is one of the University's highest priorities. The presence at UC of highly talented faculty attracts other highly accomplished faculty, graduate students and undergraduates, who all serve to maintain the academic quality and reputation of the University.
No other public institution can claim as distinguished a faculty as the University of California. The UC faculty includes 56 Nobel Prize laureates, 59 National Medal of Science recipients, 71 MacArthur ("Genius") Grant recipients, 377 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and 271 members of the National Academy of Sciences. In the 2009 and 2010 classes elected to the National Academy of Sciences, 66 of the 144 new members came from public universities, 39 of them from UC.
UC faculty are engaged principally in teaching and research. They also participate in a wide range of University service and administrative functions. Other academic employees enhance the administrative, research, service and clinical activities of the University.
Faculty share in the governance of the University. The University's governing body, the Board of Regents, delegates to the faculty the authority to determine academic policy, set conditions for admission and the granting of degrees, authorize and supervise courses and curricula, and advise the administration on faculty appointments and promotions. The UC Academic Senate is the body through which the faculty exercise this authority, and through which it advises the administration in its management of the University.
This chapter focuses on the size, composition and age distribution of the academic staff of the University, and the competitiveness of faculty salaries. It shows that UC's faculty salaries are becoming less competitive compared to comparison institutions. In particular, faculty salaries have regressed to the level of the public comparison institutions, though historically UC and the state have set a goal for UC salaries to be midway between the comparison public and private institutions. The data also show an aging of the UC faculty. The numbers of faculty retiring each year will grow during the next decade. Less competitive salaries will make it harder to hire the faculty UC needs for the future.
Much more information about faculty is elsewhere in this report. Measures of faculty research productivity and teaching workload are in Chapter 9 (Teaching and Learning) and Chapter 10 (Research). Indicators on reputation are available in Chapter 13 (Rankings). Faculty gender and racial diversity are in Chapter 8.
The national economic recession has curtailed recruitment of high-performing faculty at UC and other universities across the country. It is critical that UC lead the academic recovery during the next few years, not lag behind it. Universities that start recruiting before others will have a historic opportunity to improve their faculty; those who are slow to act will move in the other direction.
How many of the National Academy's members elected in 2030 will come from the UC faculty? This will depend greatly on UC's ability to hire and retain top faculty during the next several years.
For more information
The UC Academic Senate maintains information and reports on current and historic faculty and academic policy issues. The UCOP Academic Personnel Department also maintains information and reports on the state of the academic workforce, including the systemwide Academic Personnel Manual, which governs faculty personnel policies across all the UC campuses.
More information about trends in faculty composition and compensation can be found in the Accountability Sub-Report on Faculty Competitiveness from January 2011 and March 2009. More information on faculty diversity can be found in the Accountability Sub-Reports on Diversity from September 2010 and September 2009.