How College and University Staffing Changed in the Last Year

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The 2021 Professionals in Higher Education Survey from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) is comprised of data collected from 265,053 professionals in over 400 positions by 987 higher education institutions.

Associate institutions experienced the largest decrease, at 6.0 percent, of full-time exempt staff. In comparison, Doctoral institutions experienced the smallest decrease in full-time exempt staff, at 0.6 percent. Overall, the decrease in full-time exempt higher ed employees was 0.4 percent in 2020-2021. The previous year, the number of full-time exempt higher ed employees increased by 4.4 percent.

In 2021, minority women are better represented than minority men; Minority women make up 15 percent of professionals whereas minority men make up 9 percent.

The higher ed positions with the greatest growth in the number of employees in 2020-2021 were nurse practitioner (29.4 percent), budget unit supervisor (33.3 percent), medical residency program coordinator (53 percent), staff physician (59 percent), and head, accreditation for graduate medical education (72.2 percent).

The higher ed positions with the greatest decline in the number of employees in 2020-2021 were IT consultant (-27.6 percent), public policy analyst, entry (-23.5 percent), fire safety professional (-22.4 percent), life sciences senior research scholar (-20 percent), and head football coach (-18.6 percent).

To learn more about the Professionals in Higher Education Survey, read the overview. Salaries, demographic comparisons and detailed trend information are available in the full report.

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