Accountability Report 2022

chapter 5: faculty and other academic employees

A new interdisciplinary research center at the University of California, Riverside, will critically examine the experiences of athletes across all levels of competition with the aim of driving education, outreach, and advocacy in the field. Housed within UCR’s Graduate School of Education, the Center for Athletes’ Rights and Equity makes the case for athletes’ rights as a civil rights issue, emphasizing the crucial need for scientific research on athletes’ experiences to enhance their safety and well-being.

Eddie Comeaux, the center’s founding director, is an associate professor of higher education at UCR and expert in intercollegiate athletics, racial equity and policy issues, and college student engagement. “I don’t just study athletes,” Comeaux said. “I study students who happen to be athletes.” He’s interested in not only helping them better understand their personal rights and educational goals, but also navigate the legal and financial gray areas that often accompany segueing into professional athletics. With that in mind, the center’s efforts will seek to address issues of equity, fairness, inclusion, and justice for athletes both at the high school and college levels and beyond.

He noted another issue that remains to be addressed on campuses is gender equity, especially when it comes to women — and women of color, in particular — ascending to senior leadership roles such as athletics directors. Moreover, on many campuses men’s athletics programs continue to receive significantly more funding than women’s programs, including for recruitment activities and scholarships, Comeaux said.


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. Despite the operational and financial challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic for more than two years, UC faculty and other academic appointees have risen to the challenge of engaging in the University’s mission of teaching, research, and service in a hybrid environment. Recognizing the challenges faculty and other academic appointees faced, the University of California adopted numerous programs and exceptions to policy, providing flexibility to faculty and other academic appointees to conduct their work. The UC Provost and Executive Vice President also appointed an Academic Senate-Administration Working Group to make recommendations for mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on UC faculty. 

Describing the academic workforce

Academic FTE and Headcount, October 2021

FTE Headcount
Faculty - Ladder-rank and Equivalent 10,799.5 11,677
Faculty - Clinical/In-Residence/Adjunct 8,219.3 9,062
Faculty - Lecturers 2,490.2 4,096
Other Academic Employees 6,132.8 8,579
Postdoctoral Scholars 5,266.4 6,136
Medical Interns/Residents 6,250.4 6,433
Student Teaching/Research Assistants 11,813.8 28,610
Grand Total 50,972.4 74,593

Faculty are the most prominent face of UC’s academic workforce, but there are many other academic roles, totaling nearly 51,000 full-time equivalents (FTE) across more than 74,500 individuals. Over 59 percent of faculty are in general campus schools and colleges, while the remaining 41 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 equivalent status.* In the past decade, ladder-rank and equivalent faculty FTE have increased by over 18 percent.

In-Residence, Professor of Clinical (e.g., Medicine), Health Sciences Clinical Professor, and Adjunct Professor series faculty are found at all campus locations. However, 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. In the past decade, the total FTE of lecturers has increased by 46 percent.   

Postdoctoral scholars conduct research under the general oversight of a faculty mentor. They are 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; cooperative extension advisors and specialists in cooperative extension; librarians; faculty administrators such as Deans; university extension instructors; graduate students appointed as Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants; and residents, interns, and other trainees in medicine and other academic health sciences programs.

* 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, African American, and Hispanic/Latino(a) faculty continues to grow, as newer faculty cohorts are more diverse than past cohorts.

In the past decade, the share of Universitywide ladder-ranked faculty who are African American increased from 2.6 percent to 3.5 percent, and the share who are Hispanic/Latino(a) increased from 5.5 percent to eight percent. The number of African American faculty members went from 252 to 406, a 61 percent increase, and the number of Hispanic/Latino(a) faculty members increased from 542 to 935, a 72 percent increase.

Among tenured and tenure-track faculty, UC compares favorably in terms of the proportions of women, African American, and Hispanic/Latino(a) faculty relative to the comparison of eight peer research institutions.** 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.

Various programs have been put in place to strengthen faculty diversity:

Advancing Faculty Diversity — The State of California awarded UC a total of $11.5 million in one-time funds for five fiscal years, from 2016–17 to 2019–20, and in 2021–22 to develop an innovative and focused program to increase faculty diversity at UC. The Advancing Faculty Diversity (AFD) program awards these funds on a competitive basis to campus units implementing new measurable interventions in the faculty recruitment process. 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; mentoring programs targeted to support new faculty hires; introducing new voices, including students, in the recruitment and evaluation process; building of new faculty, equity, and inclusion data dashboards; research on and support for pathways to faculty leadership positions; and examinations of whether service loads differ by gender or race/ethnicity. In 2018–19, UCOP committed additional funds ($500,000) to initiate awards in support of improved academic climate and retention in selected pilots, and made a commitment of $3 million per year in ongoing funds to support additional projects in faculty recruitment and in improved climate and retention projects to create academic climates to support UC’s diverse student body and meaningfully engage faculty throughout their UC careers. Since its inception, a total of 55 recruitment and improved climate and retention projects have been funded through the competitive AFD program, with all ten campuses receiving at least one award.

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 2017–18 and 2021–22, 124 fellows were hired as UC ladder-rank faculty at all ten UC campuses. In addition, 21 fellows have been successfully recruited for UC faculty positions that will begin in 2022–23, with 13 others still under consideration. Through Presidential support, UC has increased the number of incentives available to departments that hire fellows and has 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.

** 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.

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 a more limited ability to diversify based on Ph.D. availabilities. UC is also looking at the diversity of its own student populations, including bachelor and graduate degree recipients, to increase the diversity of UC’s future professoriate.

Faculty hires have recently plateaued, after several years in which hiring had increased steadily as UC recovered from severe budget cuts a decade ago and as enrollment growth demanded greater teaching capacity. Faculty separations have grown modestly, primarily due to increasing retirements. In addition to the focus on hiring a diverse faculty, UC must consider and address retention issues. The introduction to Chapter 7 highlights several initiatives to improve climate and retention. Since 2016, UC has engaged the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education to design and administer a Faculty Retention and Exit Survey. A summary of the latest results can be found in this May 2022 Regents Item. 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 salaries at the “Comparison 8,” a group of four public and four private institutions.

UC 2030 goals

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 (5.3.6). Since setting the hiring goal, the University’s faculty has grown by nearly 340, or about 3.3 percent. To reach the hiring goal by 2022–23, UC needs to add 758 faculty, or seven percent, over the next year. The University will not be meeting this goal as the requisite hiring rate is over double that of recent trends. Nonetheless, with growth, UC is hoping to continue to increase the diversity of its ladder-rank faculty, which also involves retaining faculty who contribute to that diversity.

For more information

UC Academic Senate (website)

UCOP Academic Personnel and Programs (website)

UC employee headcount data (dashboard)

UC employee FTE data (dashboard)

UC employee diversity data (dashboard)

Annual wage reporting (dashboard)

Faculty diversity (website)

UC 2030 goals (dashboard)

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

5.1.1 General campus faculty FTE total by type, Universitywide, October 2011 to 2021


Source: UC Corporate Personnel System

General campus faculty serve in non-health sciences disciplines (such as arts, humanities, social sciences, biological and physical sciences, engineering, law, business, education, etc.) where the majority of UC student degrees are earned.

Total general campus faculty FTE has increased by 24 percent (2,291 FTE) in the past decade. Ladder-rank faculty FTE has grown by 1,450, or 18 percent, making up about 76 percent of all faculty FTE.

While FTE in all faculty categories has grown, the most pronounced increase has been among lecturers, who increased by over 46 percent during this period. At UC, lecturers are not required to engage in research or service responsibilities and therefore focus on teaching. Lecturers help meet the instructional needs of UC’s growing enrollment.

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

5.1.2 General campus faculty headcount by discipline, Universitywide, October 2021


Source: UC Corporate Personnel System

Faculty are employed in hundreds of departments across the ten campuses. General campus faculty — the focus of this chart 5.1.2 and the previous chart 5.1.1 — are spread across a spectrum of disciplines. The disciplines with the most undergraduate majors also tend to have the most faculty. By contrast, 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.

Different disciplines rely on varying types of faculty to fulfill their teaching and research missions. Ladder-rank faculty are the mainstay of the University’s mission of teaching, research, and service. These faculty are employed throughout all academic disciplinary areas. 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 professional schools.

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

5.1.3 Non-faculty academic workforce FTE, Universitywide, October 2011 to 2021


Source: UC Corporate Personnel System

The non-faculty academic workforce has expanded alongside student and faculty growth in the last decade, increasing by 4,000 FTE, or 15.7 percent, over this period.

Student teaching and research assistants as well as health sciences residents and interns 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.

Changes in the FTE of postdoctoral scholars and academic researchers are connected to the relative availability of research funding. 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 2021


Source: UC Corporate Personnel System.

Postdoctoral scholars have completed their doctoral degrees and conduct research under the direction and supervision of faculty mentors in preparation for academic or research careers. Since 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.

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

5.2.1  Academic workforce race/ethnicity by type, Universitywide, October 2011 to 2021
Source: UC Corporate Personnel System

All academic positions have increased in racial/ethnic diversity in the last decade. Positions occupied by students and recent graduates (e.g., teaching assistants, research assistants, postdocs, residents/interns) tend to be more diverse, reflecting increasing diversity in graduate student populations. 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. UCOP is exploring ways to improve data quality and reverse the recent trend of growth in the share of the population with unknown race/ethnicity. Campus, discipline, and age detail are 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 2011 to 2021


Source: UC Corporate Personnel System

Women make up a third of ladder-rank faculty and equivalent series. Similarly, two out of every five postdoctoral scholars and student research/teaching assistants are women. The ratio of women among Clinical/In-Residence/Adjunct Faculty and Ladder-rank Faculty has risen steadily in the last decade. 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. Due to the California Gender Recognition Act (SB-179), UC recently revised self-reporting options for gender identity and sexual orientation, resulting in an increase in the number of employees without gender information in UC’s centralized system of payroll, benefits, and human resources (UCPath).

UC has greater faculty diversity in terms of women and Hispanic/Latino(a) faculty than most of its peers.

5.2.3  Percent of tenure and tenure-track faculty who are women and/or African American or Hispanic/Latino(a), UC and comparison institutions, Fall 2020


Source: IPEDS

IPEDS data does not capture race and ethnicity for employees who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Therefore, the UC data shown here may differ from other analyses of faculty demographics.

Relative to the “Comparison 8” universities (four public institutions: Illinois, Michigan, University at Buffalo, Virginia; four private institutions: Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale), most UC campuses have a greater share of faculty who are women. Most UC campuses are at or above the private institutions but below the public ones for African American faculty and African American women faculty shares. Most UC campuses exceed the comparison share of Hispanic/Latino(a) and Hispanic/Latino(a) women faculty.

However, 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 women, African American, and Hispanic/Latino(a) faculty generally meets or exceeds the national availability of doctorates, with variation among disciplines.

5.3.1 African American new assistant professors compared with national availability by discipline group


5.3.2 Hispanic/Latino(a) new assistant professors compared with national availability by discipline group


5.3.3 Women new assistant professors compared with national availability by discipline group


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. The percentage of women in UC’s new hires between 2016–17 and 2020–21 was on par with the national availability pool. Similarly, the percentages of African American and Hispanic/Latino(a) new assistant professors were above the corresponding national availability pool. 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.

5.3.4 New hires and separations of ladder-rank and equivalent faculty, Universitywide, 2010-11 to 2020-21


Source: UC Academic Personnel and Program Administration, LSOE: Lecturer with Security of Employment, PSOE: Potential for Security of Employment

Faculty numbers have grown over time, 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. The COVIDd-19 pandemic has affected faculty recruitment efforts, but hiring has not been reduced as much as had been feared. Still, there is potential for further effects of the pandemic on recruitments to be reflected in lower faculty hiring in coming years.

Since 2016, UC has partnered with Harvard’s Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) ( on a research project to survey faculty who leave UC for employment at other universities or who consider outside offers but elect to stay at UC. This Retention and Exit Study is aimed at understanding and improving the experience of UC faculty members, as well as improving recruitment and retention. A summary of the latest results can be found in this May 2022 Regents Item:

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

5.3.5 Average ladder-rank general campus faculty salaries by rank, UC and comparison institutions, 2010-11 to 2020-21


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 incorporates an inflation adjustment based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), but it 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.

5.3.6 UC ladder-rank faculty headcount, excluding recall faculty*, Universitywide, October 2011 to 2021


Source: UC Corporate Personnel System

* 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 multi-year 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. UC would need to add 758 LRE faculty in the next year to achieve this goal. Based on recent trends in faculty growth, the University will not meet this goal.

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


UC continues to develop pathways to the diversify the professoriate as a part of its 2030 goals.

5.3.7 UC pathways to a diverse professoriate


Source: UC Academic Personnel and Program Administration, UC Corporate Personnel System, Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED availabilities include non-US citizens wo got doctorates at US universities.

Investing in the next generation of the diverse professoriate is one of the three goals of the UC 2030 framework. UC continues to deploy the strategy of growing the graduate and future professoriate pathway, including additional ladder-rank faculty to increase UC’s capacity to grow graduate student numbers. While UC is hiring new faculty from historically underrepresented groups, it is also cultivating an internal talent pool by creating more research opportunities for undergraduate students and working to encourage more students from underrepresented groups to pursue doctoral degrees.