2021 Salary Adjustments for Faculty and Academic Staff

Dear Faculty and Academic Staff,

Providing fair compensation is a long-standing priority for UNT, not only because of its importance in attracting and retaining the exemplary talent that drives our growth as an R1 university, but also because it is a direct reflection of our values as a caring and equitable institution where all faculty and staff are empowered to succeed.

I know that the last two years have been tremendously difficult for our faculty and staff, who have faced unprecedented challenges and stressors while continuing to provide the exceptional teaching, research and service that transforms our students and elevates our impact in the North Texas region and beyond. Now more than ever, it is crucial for UNT leadership to thoroughly evaluate our processes to determine whether compression or equity issues exist within our university’s pay structure.

As President Smatresk announced at his State of the University, a 2% merit pool and 1% equity pool is available this year. Staff receiving merit and equity adjustments will be notified by Nov. 1, with the first adjusted paycheck on Dec. 1.  

Adjustments to faculty salaries are based in part on results from the recent faculty salary study task force, chaired by Professor of Accounting Paul Hutchison. The task force determined how UNT faculty salaries compare with salaries at other R1/R2 institutions and investigated potential compression or equity issues. The results show that UNT fared well in this analysis.

Here are a few highlights from the summary report:

  • The average salary-to-market ratio across all of UNT’s 1,140 continuing faculty members is 1.042. This means that UNT’s overall rate of pay is above the middle of R1 and R2 institutions, which is fitting given our standing as a new R1 institution.
  • 96% of faculty fall between 60 and 139% of the market median, and the remaining 4% are above 139% of market salary.
  • Our aim is to hire new assistant professors at 90-110% of market median. Of assistant professors hired within the last three years, only 1.2% fell below market.
  • Gender and ethnicity are not statistically significant predictors of salary after controlling for other variables (market salary median, number of years with degree before hire, years at UNT before current rank, years in current rank, highest degree, honorarium and current rank).

In addition to the 2% merit pool, UNT has allocated 1% – approximately $1M – to address salary market gaps for faculty members who are both meritorious (performing at or above average) and experiencing significant market compression. Market adjustments will go into effect in November with the first adjusted paycheck on Dec. 1, at the same time as merit raises. Individuals receiving a market adjustment will be notified individually in their merit letter prior to Nov. 1.

While review of eligibility is being finalized, I anticipate that approximately 15-20% of continuing faculty will receive a market adjustment. The following adjustments are planned and it is possible that a faculty member could receive an adjustment that combines one or more of the following:

  • Continuing faculty who are performing at or above average and making 85% or less than estimated market.
  • Assistant professors who are making less than 90% of estimated market and are making progress toward tenure.
  • Faculty nominated by their college for consideration for a market adjustment based on outstanding performance or significant compression.

Additionally, we are revising the promotional raises to the rates reflected below to increase the competitiveness of our salaries moving forward. Faculty whose promotions went into effect this fall will receive a salary adjustment equal to the difference between the prior promotional raise and the new rate.

Change in Rank Current Proposed

Promotion to Associate Professor

$3,600 OR 5%

$6,000 OR 7%

Promotion to Professor

$4,800 OR 5%

$8,000 OR 8%

Promotion to Senior Lecturer, Clinical Associate or Research Associate

$2,600 OR 5%

$4,000 OR 5%

Promotion to Principal Lecturer, Clinical Professor or Research Professor

$3,800 OR 5%

$5,000 OR 7%

Promotion to Associate Librarian



Promotion to Librarian



This work builds on the faculty equity adjustments made in 2015 and the faculty market adjustments made in 2018, providing a valuable framework for conducting future faculty salary studies. We will continue to replicate this study on a three-year rotation. While I am pleased with the outcome and process, the faculty salary study task force represents just one dimension of UNT’s larger commitment to ensuring our compensation is not only equitable and competitive, but commensurate with the vital work accomplished each and every day. I look forward to taking the next steps in UNT’s journey of continuous improvement.

Thank you for all that you do to support our university’s mission.