News Release

New report finds that over the last decade, average Cal State University faculty salary lost purchasing power while average University of California salary increased in real dollars

First paper in the “Race to the Bottom” Series reveals that the CSU Administration fails to invest in faculty, despite their critical role in student success, while other systems do

SACRAMENTO, CA—A new report released by the California Faculty Association today finds that, despite all the research showing the faculty play a critical role in student success, the California State University administration over the last decade has failed to invest in its faculty.

This is the case even though other colleges and universities— ncluding the University of California—have done so.  

Race to the Bottom: The CSU’s 10-Year Failure to Fund its Core Mission depicts how, over the past 10 years, in good times and bad, whether state funding was up or down, when tuition was raised and when it wasn’t, CSU expenditures on faculty salaries have remained essentially flat.

Furthermore, the average CSU faculty salary on every CSU campus actually has lost purchasing power.

According to the report, when compared to other university systems around the country, and to every education segment in California, the CSU “stands out for its unparalleled failure to improve faculty salaries or even to protect them from the ravages of inflation.”

The paper states,

“…administrators at other colleges and universities inside and outside California dealt with similar circumstances, made different decisions, and produced different outcomes…. The failure to fund faculty salaries is shocking in both its magnitude and its consistency over time.”

While the average CSU faculty salary on every campus lost purchasing power over 10 years, the average University of California faculty salary on each UC campus increased in real dollars. At UC San Francisco, for example, the average faculty salary from 2004 to 2013 (adjusted for inflation) rose $16,138, while at San Francisco State, the average faculty salary lost $9,748.

Lillian Taiz, President of the California Faculty Association said,

“This paper serves as a call for new priorities in the CSU. Chancellor Timothy White promised data-driven decision-making to improve the quality of our programs and to implement programs that advance student success.  

“The research shows that the faculty is a critical driver of student success. We call on the Chancellor to heed the data and shift system priorities – just as other institutions around the country have done — so that they better align with the CSU’s core mission and the role faculty play in its successfully.” 

The Race to the Bottom series analyzes the California State University administration’s priorities and decisions, and highlights implications for CSU faculty, students and public higher education.  

Visit to view the series and download each paper. 

The second paper will be released on March 24.