In the fall of 1993, about 2.7 million persons, or about 2.1 percent of the U.S. labor force, were employed by postsecondary institutions in the United States. Just over half were women, but the distribution by occupation varied substantially by sex. Sixty-eight percent of the total postsecondary employees were full time and 32 percent were part time. Just over one-third were faculty members, and almost two-thirds (65 percent) were classified as professional employees. This report presents detailed tabulations for 1993 and historical comparisons with previous years for staff employed by postsecondary institutions in the United States. The data are from the "Fall Staff" survey, a part of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) of the U.S. Department of Education?s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
Institutions and Information Covered by the Report
Data are presented for both the total postsecondary institutions and for the subset that are classified as institutions of higher education (IHE). In 1993, there were some 8,861 postsecondary institutions at the 4-year, 2-year, and less than 2-year levels in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Of these, about 3,670 were accredited at the college level by an agency recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and are known as "institutions of higher education." While over half of the total postsecondary institutions are non-IHEs, over 95 percent of total postsecondary staff are employed in IHEs. The data on IHEs are available for a longer period of time, and this information can produce insights into the trends and distribution of higher education staff. In this report, all tables and graphs are labeled to indicate whether the information is for all postsecondary institutions or for IHEs alone. In most cases, historical data prior to 1987 are available only for IHEs.
All Postsecondary Staff
The following information on staff in all postsecondary institutions is covered in this report.
For the 3,670 institutions of higher education, additional information is reported. This includes
The Fall Staff survey is one of the eight components of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. The survey covers all postsecondary institutions including universities and colleges, as well as institutions offering technical and vocational education beyond the high school level. IPEDS was begun in 1986. Prior to that time, similar data were collected through the Higher Education General Information Survey (HEGIS), which began in 1966. HEGIS, however, covered only those institutions accredited at the college level by an agency recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. Between 1987 and 1991, the fall staff data were collected in cooperation with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The EEOC collected data on staff through its Higher Education Staff Information (EEO-6) report from all postsecondary institutions within their mandate, that is, institutions that have 15 or more full-time employees. NCES through the IPEDS system collected data from all other postsecondary institutions, including all 2- and 4-year higher education institutions with fewer than 15 full-time employees, and a sample of less than 2-year schools. NCES and EEOC collected staff data biennially in odd numbered years. The IPEDS files from 1987 to 1991 combine data from the EEO-6 and the IPEDS staff survey to create the IPEDS "Fall Staff" data file.
In 1993 for the first time, all schools formerly surveyed by EEOC were surveyed by NCES. Additionally, all less than 2-year schools eligible for participation in the Title IV federal financial aid program were included in the data collection.
Additional data on full-time faculty are available through the IPEDS "Faculty Salaries, Tenure, and Fringe Benefits" survey. This survey has been conducted for most years since 1966, initially through HEGIS and then through IPEDS. NCES also sponsors the National Survey of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF), a nationally representative sample survey that provides detailed information on postsecondary faculty and departments. Previous NSOPF surveys were conducted in 1988 and 1993. Historical data on faculty in institutions of higher education prior to 1975 are also available, and they have been summarized in the Digest of Education Statistics.
The IPEDS Fall Staff questionnaires were mailed out between October and November 1993, and institutions were asked to report their employment statistics for the pay period closest to October 1, 1993. Postsecondary education institutions completed either the "Consolidated" survey (IPEDS-CN) or the "Fall Staff" survey (IPEDS-S). The IPED-S survey form collected data on the race and sex of staff from all higher education institutions and all other schools offering a baccalaureate or higher degree. The IPEDS-CN survey was completed by all other postsecondary institutions that were not sent the "Fall Staff" survey. For institutions in the 50 states and District of Columbia, the response rate was 87 percent for the total postsecondary institutions and 92 percent for IHEs. Data were imputed for missing schools and for schools that had missing individual items. (See technical notes in Appendix C for a description of study methodology.)
Classifications Used in This Report
Data included in this report are presented first according to whether they are for all postsecondary institutions or limited to institutions of higher education. This distinction is discussed above and summarized numerically in Appendix table C-2. Data are presented by the following categories:
- Professional staff (executive/administrative/managerial, faculty (instruction/research) instructional and research assistants, and professional (support/service))
- Nonprofessional staff (technical and paraprofessional, clerical and secretarial, skilled crafts, service/maintenance, and other employees)
Structure of the Report
The report presents the summary of findings in three major sections: (1) overview of postsecondary and institutions of higher education staff, (2) faculty growth, distribution, tenure, and rank, and (3) newly hired staff in institutions of higher education. Section 1 includes data for all postsecondary institutions and for the subset institutions of higher education. Sections 2 and 3 focus on institutions of higher education. Where possible, comparisons are made to earlier NCES and EEO-6 data. We have usually taken the period of 1975-77 as comparison years, depending on the availability of data.
Detailed statistical tables are presented at the end of the report. Appendix A includes tables for all postsecondary institutions, and Appendix B provides tabulations for IHEs. Appendix C provides technical notes on study methodology, Appendix D provides a glossary of major terms and classification categories used in the survey and this report, and Appendix E presents additional related tables. Appendix F is a copy of the survey questionnaire.
For ease of reading, those staff labeled in the tables and figures as white, non-Hispanic, and black, non-Hispanic are referred to simply as whites and blacks, respectively, in the text portion of the report.
Note on Historical Comparisons
In utilizing the historical data some caution must be exercised. First there have been some changes in actual numbers in the universe of postsecondary and higher education institutions. Second, the EEO-6 data were not imputed and may not have been as inclusive among the small institutions as was the 1993 survey. This is reflected in the number of institutions reporting, which was 3,031 in 1977 and 3,670 in 1993. There were, however, no systematic exclusions from the EEO-6 of institutions such as historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that might have biased the data on race/ethnicity.
It should also be noted that data from 1975-77 were drawn from two different primary sources, The Higher Education General Information System (HEGIS) "Staff Survey" 1976 and the EEO-6 surveys, which were conducted in odd years (1975 and 1977).