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Will the nominal salaries of tenured professors in the US decrease in the school year 2020-2021 from reported salaries in 2019-2020?

Tenure is a position awarded to select faculty that prevents them from losing their academic positions unless under dire circumstances. The presence of tenure allows for academics and key researchers to remain free and unhindered by political or economic changes or influences.

The Annual Report of the Economic Status of the Profession looks partially at the changes in salary for tenured professors, as well as other professorship levels, over time from 1971 onwards. The average percent change from 2018-2019 to 2019-2020 was 0.6%, and during the recession the change from 2008-2009 to 2009-2010 was -1.7% in real terms adjusted for the CPI of that time frame. The CPI, or Consumer Price Index, represents the general price level for an average basket of goods. The average nominal salary (in 2019-2020 US dollars not adjusted for inflation) for all tenured professors across all levels of higher education was $140,373 in 2019-2020.

This question asks: Will the nominal salaries of tenured professors decrease in the school year 2020-2021 from reported salaries in 2019-2020?

This question will resolve positively if there is a decrease in nominal salaries of tenured professors. It will resolve negatively if there is no change, or a positive change, in reported salaries in 2020-2021. This question is part of the Higher Education Series.

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