Accountability Report 2020

chapter 5: faculty and other academic employees



The University of California’s distinguished faculty and other academic appointees serve as a rich source of innovation, discovery, and mentorship. They provide top-quality education to students, develop groundbreaking research, and serve California’s diverse communities.

Describing the academic workforce

Academic FTE and Headcount, October 2019

FTE Headcount
Faculty - Ladder-rank and Equivalent 10,617.8 11,535
Faculty - Clinical/In-Residence/Adjunct 7,614.1 8,528
Faculty - Lecturers 2,425.4 4,029
Other Academic Employees 6,291.9 8,526
Postdoctoral Scholars 5,454.1 6,433
Student Teaching/Research Assistants 11,108.4 27,223
Medical Interns/Residents 6,086.2 6,258
Grand Total 49,597.9 72,532

Faculty are the most prominent face of UC’s academic workforce, but there are many other academic roles as well, totaling nearly 50,000 full-time equivalents (FTE) across over more than 72,000 individuals. About 60 percent of faculty are in general campus schools, while the other 40 percent are in the health sciences.

Ladder-rank and equivalent faculty are the core of the faculty in advancing the UC’s tripartite mission of teaching, research and public service. These faculty can advance to tenure or an equivalent status.1 Since the year 2000, their numbers have increased by 39 percent.

The In-Residence, Professor of Clinical (e.g., Medicine), Health Sciences Clinical Professor, and Adjunct Professor series faculty are found at all campus locations, but their numbers are concentrated in the health sciences schools; their duties vary in their focus on research, clinical care, and teaching.

Lecturers are focused on instruction and are hired into part-time and full-time positions. Lecturers can achieve continuing status. Since 2000, the FTE of lecturers has increased by over 74 percent.

Postdoctoral scholars are sponsored by faculty and typically paid through research contracts and grants, so their numbers concentrate in the medical and STEM fields and vary with available grant funding.

Other academic appointees include academic researchers; specialists and advisors in cooperative extension; librarians; faculty administrators such as Deans; university extension teachers; graduate students appointed as Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants; and interns and residents in medicine and other academic health sciences programs.

1 Security of Employment or the tenure-equivalent of associate and full agronomists and astronomers. Diversity

The University of California is committed to diversity and excellence in its faculty and academic workforce. The proportion of women and underrepresented groups (African American, American Indian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Hispanic/Latinx) in the faculty continues to grow at a modest pace. Newer faculty cohorts are noticeably more diverse than past cohorts.

Among tenured and tenure-track faculty, UC compares favorably in terms of the proportions of women faculty and faculty from underrepresented groups relative to the comparison eight peer research institutions.2 And, many academic appointee titles at UC that experience more rapid turnover are more ethnically diverse and gender-balanced than UC’s ladder-rank faculty. Still, UC continues to work to identify opportunities to diversify the faculty and improve recruitment processes and campus climate by tracking recruitment data, by sharing best practices in mentoring and professional development, and by enhancing work-life balance programs.

A variety of programs have been put in place to strengthen faculty diversity:

Advancing Faculty Diversity — The State of California awarded UC $2 million in one-time funds in fiscal years 2016–17, 2017–18, and 2018–19, and $2.5 million in fiscal year 2019–20 to develop an innovative and focused program to increase faculty diversity at UC. The Advancing Faculty Diversity program awards these funds on a competitive basis to campus units implementing new measurable interventions in the faculty recruitment process. To date, sixteen pilot projects have been funded by the state, including projects located in colleges, schools, and departments. In addition, since 2018–19, fifteen awards have been funded by the Office of the President to improve academic climate and increase faculty retention. Some of the successful interventions that correlate with hiring diverse faculty include the use of contributions to diversity statements early in the evaluation process; targeting potential faculty earlier in their careers through support for postdoctoral work; outreach by faculty to actively recruit candidates; revised evaluation practices, including the use of rubrics to guide decision-making; strong leadership and sustained and strategic involvement from unit leaders; and introducing new voices, including students, in the recruitment and evaluation process.Beginning in 2019–20, President Napolitano committed an additional $3 million per year in ongoing funds to support additional projects in faculty recruitment and improved climate and retention to pilot innovative recruitment practices and create academic climates to support UC’s diverse student body and meaningfully engage faculty throughout their UC careers.

President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (PPFP) — Established in 1984, the program recruits top scholars who are committed to underserved and minority communities to pursue faculty careers at UC. Between 2016–17 and 2019–20, 87 fellows were hired as UC ladder-rank faculty at all ten UC campuses. In addition, more than 18 fellows have been successfully recruited for UC faculty positions that will begin in 2020–21, with others still under consideration. Through Presidential support, UC has increased the number of incentives available to departments that hire fellows and expanded eligibility for hiring incentives to include the health sciences and professional schools. The program is nationally recognized and leads a partnership of top universities that participate in recruiting top postdoc talent.

Grant-funded researchSince 2015, UC has administered two National Science Foundation grants to study the faculty hiring process. The study is identifying steps in UC’s hiring process susceptible to bias, characteristics that amplify or mitigate disparities, as well as policies to promote faculty equity, inclusion, and diversity. UC was also awarded a five-year grant to establish the Center for Research, Excellence, and Diversity in Team Science (CREDITS), a research and training program to enhance the capacity, effectiveness, and excellence of team science efforts at UC and CSU. CREDITS researches gender and racial/ethnic diversity in team science, particularly barriers to diverse participation and how diversity shapes the formation of science teams and the implications for promotion and tenure.

2 The comparison eight institutions are University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University at Buffalo, University of Virginia, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and Yale University. See glossary for additional details.

Hiring and retention

Overall hiring of UC faculty generally outpaces availabilities of U.S. doctoral degree recipients by race, ethnicity, and gender, with some notable differences by field. STEM fields have more limited ability to diversify, based on Ph.D. availabilities.

Faculty hires have stabilized after several years of increases as UC recovered from severe budget cuts a decade ago, and as enrollment growth demanded greater teaching capacity. Faculty separations have grown modestly, especially due to increasing retirements. Average faculty salaries at UC have improved somewhat in recent years; however, they still trail those at many comparison institutions, particularly a benchmark of the average of salaries at the “Comparison 8,” a group of four public and four private institutions.

As part of the multi-year framework adopted by the UC Regents in early 2019, known as UC 2030 — Advancing the California Dream, UC is hoping to receive additional state support to hire 1,100 ladder-rank faculty between 2018–19 and 2022–23 (5.3.5). With growth, UC is hoping to continue to increase the diversity of its ladder-rank faculty, but that also involves retaining faculty who contribute to that diversity. Although faculty for historically underrepresented minority communities made up 15.0 percent of all tenure-track (Assistant Professor and Lecturer with Potential Security of Employment) new hires between 2009–10 and 2018–19, they comprised 17.1 percent of tenure-track resignations. The racial/ethnic retention gap was more pronounced among domestic faculty, where faculty from historically underrepresented minority communities comprised 16.9 percent of new hires, but 20.9 percent of separations.

For more information

UC faculty have increased to accommodate a growing student body, relying more on non-senate faculty today than in years past.

5.1.1      General campus faculty FTE total by type, Universitywide, October 2000 to 2019


Source: UC Corporate Personnel System

Since 2000, faculty size has increased by 3,600 FTE, or 45 percent. While all faculty types have grown, the most pronounced increase has been among lecturers, who increased over 74 percent during this period. Lecturers made up more than 20 percent of general campus faculty FTE in October 2019, a slight increase from 17 percent in 2000.

Ladder-rank faculty have grown by a more modest 39 percent, but they still make up 76 percent of faculty FTE.

At UC, lecturers do not have research responsibilities and therefore focus on teaching. These faculty help meet the instructional needs of UC’s growing enrollment.

General campus faculty are mostly concentrated in arts and humanities and the social sciences.

5.1.2      General campus faculty headcount by discipline, Universitywide, October 2019


Source: UC Corporate Personnel System

Faculty are employed in hundreds of departments across the ten campuses. Most health sciences faculty serve in the schools of medicine, with smaller numbers in other health sciences disciplines such as dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, optometry, and public health. General campus faculty are spread across a spectrum of disciplines. The disciplines with the most undergraduate majors also tend to have the most faculty.

Different disciplines rely on varying types of faculty to fulfill their teaching and research missions. Lecturers are concentrated in certain disciplines, such as the arts and humanities, often to support general education requirements in those areas. Lecturer positions are also common in the professional schools.

The non-faculty academic workforce has increased steadily, particularly student teaching and research assistants and medical interns. Growth in other categories aligns closely with faculty growth and the availability of research funding.

5.1.3      Non-faculty academic workforce FTE, Universitywide, October 2000 to 2019


Source: UC Corporate Personnel System

The non-faculty academic workforce has expanded alongside student and faculty growth since 2000, increasing by nearly 10,000 FTE, or 52 percent, over this period.


Student teaching and research assistants as well as health sciences interns/residents have increased in number. Student teaching and research assistants hold part-time appointments in conjunction with their graduate studies. FTE of student assistants and residents/interns has increased in tandem with enrollment increases and expansion of health sciences programs over this time period.


Postdoctoral scholars and other academic researchers, two groups heavily concentrated within the research mission, have also grown in line with faculty FTE. Contracts and grants from external sponsors support the vast majority of researchers in the academic workforce, with the federal government providing most research funding. Chapter 9, Research, provides additional details on the composition of the research workforce.


Postdoctoral scholars are concentrated in medicine, science, and engineering, as well as at campuses with larger research programs in those fields.

5.1.4  Postdoctoral scholar headcount, By campus and discipline, October 2019

Postdoctoral scholar headcount

Source: UC Corporate Personnel System.

Note: ANR/UCOP/SWP is Agricultural and Natural Resources/UC Office of the President/Systemwide Programs

Postdoctoral scholars have completed their doctoral degrees and conduct research with faculty. Because most of their funding comes from contracts and grants, they are particularly prevalent in fields that receive large amounts of grant funding, such as medicine, life sciences, physical sciences, and engineering. Campuses with large research programs in these fields consequently have larger postdoctoral populations.

Postdoctoral scholars train under the direction and supervision of faculty mentors in preparation for academic or research careers.

The diversity of UC’s academic workforce differs among the types of employees.

5.2.1  Academic workforce race/ethnicity by type, Universitywide, October 2000 to 2019
Academic workforce race/ethnicity by type, Universitywide
Source: UC Corporate Personnel System

All academic positions have increased in racial/ethnic diversity since 2000. Positions with shorter durations (e.g. Students, Interns/Residents) tend to be more diverse, since turnover allows for increased diversity in hiring. Ladder-rank faculty diversity has been the slowest to change, due to long tenures and limited availability of candidates in some disciplines. The significant number of international academics reflects a global academic marketplace. Campus, discipline, and age detail is available through the UC Information Center (


Gender diversity has increased or maintained parity for every academic group but still falls short of parity in several academic appointee categories.

5.2.2  Academic workforce gender by type, Universitywide, October 2000 to 2019


Source: UC Corporate Personnel System

Women make up half of Lecturers, Other Academic Appointees, and medical interns/residents. The ratio of women among Clinical/In-Residence/Adjunct Faculty and Ladder-Rank Faculty has risen steadily since 2001. Gender diversity takes longer to change in populations such as ladder-rank faculty, where turnover is low and tenures are long. Gender ratios among Postdoctoral scholars and student assistants have remained relatively steady, likely related to the relative proportions of men and women graduate students and recent doctorates in the academic disciplines most represented in those categories.

UC has greater faculty diversity in terms of women and underrepresented minorities than many peers.

5.2.3  Percent of tenure and tenure-track faculty who are women and/or an underrepresented group (URG), UC and comparison institutions, Fall 2018


Source: IPEDS

UC’s efforts to recruit women and underrepresented groups (American Indian, African American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latinx) into faculty roles puts it near the top among peer research institutions in faculty diversity.

Relative to the “Comparison 8” universities (four public institutions: Illinois, Michigan, University at Buffalo, Virginia; four private institutions: Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale), UC is the second highest in terms of its proportion of women faculty (35 percent), its proportion of overall URG faculty (10.2 percent), and its proportion of women URG faculty (4.5 percent).

But UC faculty do not reflect the diversity of California or UC’s graduate and undergraduate students. One of the UC 2030 goals is to expand the pathway to the professoriate to help grow and diversify the faculty.

 5.3 ACADEMIC Hiring and Retention

UC’s hiring of underrepresented and female faculty overall exceeds or meets the national availability of doctorates, with variation among discipline groups.

5.3.1 Underrepresented* new assistant professors compared with national availability by discipline group, Universitywide, 2015-16 to 2018-195-3-1

* Underrepresented includes those who identify as Black/African American/African, Hispanic/Latinx, and American Indian/Native American.

5.3.2 Women new assistant professors compared with national availability by discipline group, Universitywide, 2015–16 to 2018–195-3-2

Source: UC Academic Personnel and Program Administration and Survey of Earned Doctorates

UC remains committed to diversifying its faculty and taking full advantage of the available pools of qualified candidates. Between 2014 and 2018, underrepresented groups accounted for 12.5 percent of nationwide new doctoral degree recipients and 17.2 percent of UC’s new assistant professor hires. Between 2014 and 2018, women constituted 45.1 percent of nationwide new doctoral degree recipients and 43.6 percent of UC’s new hires. Some disciplines at UC have diversified more than others, relative to the availability pools in their field.


Hiring of new faculty has ebbed and flowed over the years in response to budget cuts and enrollment growth. Separations have been more consistent, year over year.

5.3.3 New hires and separations of ladder-rank and equivalent faculty, Universitywide, 2000-01 to 2018-19


Source: UC Academic Personnel and Program Administration

Over time, faculty numbers have grown, as hiring has generally outpaced separations. Separations have grown modestly, especially among tenured faculty, as the number of retirements has steadily increased. Other factors that can affect hiring and separations include shifts in the economy and fluctuations in state funding that affect the University’s budgets.

UC has partnered with Harvard's Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education ( on a research project to survey faculty who leave UC for employment at other universities. This Retention and Exit Study, now in its sixth year, is part of an effort to better understand and improve the experience of UC faculty members, as well as improve recruitment and retention.

UC faculty salaries have increased, but remain below the comparison institution benchmark.

5.3.4 Average ladder-rank general campus faculty salaries by rank, UC and comparison institutions, 2000–01 to 2019-20

Average ladder-rank general campus faculty salaries by rank, 2000-01 to 2017–18

Source: UC Corporate Personnel System, AAUP faculty salary survey

UC faculty salaries have improved in recent years, yet they continue to lag behind the comparison benchmark UC uses to assess the competitiveness of its faculty salaries. UC sets the benchmark using the average salaries of the “Comparison 8” universities (four public: Illinois, Michigan, University at Buffalo, Virginia; four private: Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale).

UC’s faculty salaries fall below those of the comparison private institutions, but have recently been pulling ahead of the four public institutions as UC has increased investment in faculty salaries while salaries at the public comparison institutions have remained flat or even decreased. This comparison does not factor in the cost of living, which is especially high in most of California compared to the regions of the public peers assessed here.


Growth in UC ladder-rank faculty is critical to upholding quality in instruction, research, and public service.

5.3.5 UC ladder-rank faculty headcount, excluding recall faculty*, Universitywide, October 2000 to 2019

UC ladder-rank faculty headcount

* Recall faculty are retired faculty who return part-time for temporary instruction and/or research needs. They are excluded here to focus on more permanent faculty appointments only.

Growth among UC ladder-rank and equivalent (LRE) faculty has been modest over the last couple of decades, relative to the growth in the student body. One of UC’s goals in the multiyear framework adopted by the UC Regents in 2019 is investing in the next generation of the professoriate.

To fulfill this, UC seeks to grow non-recall LRE faculty by 1,100 between 201819 and 202223.

After four years, UC leadership will assess progress toward advancing undergraduate and graduate degree attainment and diversifying the professoriate.