Accountability Report 2023

Chapter 5:


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

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.1

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.

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.


The University of California is committed to diversity and excellence in its faculty and academic workforce. The proportion of women, African American, and Hispanic/Latinx faculty continues to grow, as newer faculty cohorts are more diverse than past cohorts.

Among tenured and tenure-track faculty, UC compares favorably in terms of the proportions of women, African American, and Hispanic/Latinx faculty relative to the comparison of eight peer research institutions.2 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. Two examples are Advancing Faculty Diversity and the President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (PPFP).

Hiring and retention

The UC 2030 goals to add 1,100 ladder rank faculty between 2018 and 2022 will take longer to attain.  Over the last four years, UC added 304 ladder rank faculty. The pandemic significantly slowed the pace of faculty hiring and increases in faculty retirements.

In addition, UC has engaged the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education since 2016 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.

1Security of Employment or the tenure-equivalent of associate and full agronomists and astronomers.
2The 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.

As of October 2022, UC had 21,672 FTE faculty, consisting of 50% ladder-rank and equivalent, 39% clinical/in-residence/adjunct, and 11% lecturers.

5.1.1 Faculty FTE total by type

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UC employees, full-time equivalent (FTE) dashboard


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.

The non-faculty academic workforce has expanded alongside student and faculty growth in the last decade, increasing by 4,485 FTE, or about 18 percent, over this period.

5.1.2 Non-faculty academic workforce FTE

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UC employees, full-time equivalent (FTE) dashboard



Student teaching and research assistants hold part-time appointments in conjunction with their graduate studies.

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.

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

5.1.3 Postdoctoral scholar headcount, by campus and discipline, November 2022


Source: UC Path

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 and gender by type

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UC workforce diversity dashboard


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. UC is exploring ways to improve data quality and reverse the recent trend of growth in the share of the population with unknown race/ethnicity.

Due to the California Gender Recognition Act (SB-179), UC recently revised self-reporting options for gender identity and sexual orientation. Since that change, around 10 percent of employees no longer provide gender information.


UC has greater diversity in terms of women and Hispanic/Latinx faculty than most of its peers.

5.2.2 Percent of tenure and tenure-track faculty who are women and/or African American or Hispanic/Latinx, UC and comparison institutions, Fall 2021


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/Latinx and Hispanic/Latinx 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, 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/Latinx 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


Hiring of new faculty has slowed and recently declined in response to budget cuts and enrollment growth, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. Separations also increased during the pandemic.

5.3.4 New hires and separations of ladder-rank and equivalent faculty, Universitywide, 2010–11 to 2021–22


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

UC faculty salaries have increased, getting closer to market. In 2021-22, faculty salaries were 96% of market.

5.3.5 Ladder Rank Faculty Salaries as a percentage of market, 2000-01 to 2021-22


Source: UC Budget for Current Operations, 2023-24


UC did not meet the four-year UC 2030 goal of hiring 1,100 faculty.

5.3.6 UC ladder-rank faculty headcount, excluding recall faculty*, Universitywide. October 2011 to 2022


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 set a goal to grow non-recall LRE faculty by 1,100 between 2018–19 and 2022–23. UC added around 300 faculty and therefore did not achieve this goal due to a number of reasons, including budget cuts and the COVID-19 pandemic.


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

5.3.7 UC pathways to professoriate


Source: UC Academic Personnel and Program Administration, UC Path, Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED availabilities include non-US citizens who earned doctorates at U.S. 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, through its Grow our Own initiative, UC  is also cultivating an internal talent pool by creating more research opportunities for undergraduate students and working to encourage more students from underrepresented groups in UC undergraduate programs to pursue doctoral degrees.