Faculty Compensation Study

California State University employs over 27,000 faculty members, whose intellectual, social, and cultural influences benefit our students and help advance the academic mission. The CSU is committed to attracting, developing and retaining talented faculty at our 23 campuses throughout California.

As evidence of that commitment, a project task force was established in late 2021 to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) and select a compensation consultant with the capacity and expertise to conduct a comprehensive compensation study and provide input to the consultant throughout the study. The task force includes members of the Board of Trustees, CSU and campus Leadership and the California Faculty Association (CFA).

In 2022, Mercer, a leading global human resources firm, was selected to oversee and manage this project. Mercer gathered input from faculty and administrators to inform a thorough analysis of CSU faculty salaries and structures and provided recommendations. Implementing any proposed recommendations will require negotiations with CFA and approval of CSU's Board of Trustees. All parties share a common interest to attract, motivate and retain outstanding faculty.

As part of the study, Mercer has evaluated and assessed:

  • Faculty base salary and benefits by conducting a market analysis of base salary and benefits for all faculty ranks and disciplines, including lecturers, as well as coaches, counselors and librarians.
  • The effectiveness, relevancy and competitiveness of CSU's faculty compensation system: job classifications, salary structure, compensation policies, pay practices and mechanisms utilized to advance pay and reward performance of faculty employees.

Mercer's findings confirmed:

  • ​The overall CSU faculty compensation aligns with comparable peer institutions selected for the compensation study.
  • The CSU offers valuable benefits -- the second highest in the market data set.
  • The pay equity analysis results did not represent significant differentials in pay for faculty members in protected classifications at the CSU.

Mercer presented their findings and recommendations to the CSU Board of Trustees in March 2023, and published the final report in September 2023.

Faculty Definitions

Reference some of the common faculty and compensation study terms.

Go to the Fac​ulty Definitions

Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s some feedback to frequently asked questions about the Faculty Salary Study.

Focus Group Questions
Frequently Asked Questions