Several posts on this website discussed the negotiation process and tips for new faculty in US. However, I wonder if there are any possibilities or tips to negotiate the salary after being tenured and promoted to associate or full professor.

  • 1
    Please avoid answering in the comments. This is a good example of a question that should be answered either by personal experience with such negotiations or by references (e.g., to articles that discuss faculty pay). If you have either of these, please consider writing a proper answer.
    – cag51
    Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 14:22

2 Answers 2


In the typical nonunionized American university, salary negotiation is not very closely related to promotion. Typically there is a small automatic salary increase when you are promoted. You can ask for a higher salary at any time; you do not have to ask at the time you are promoted. (Some might argue this means the question cannot be answered.)

Two principles to consider when seeking a higher salary are:

  • The university will not want to pay you more than your colleagues who have a higher rank. This is because they do not want to give your colleagues who have a higher rank leverage to ask for their own raise.
  • Your salary request needs to be backed by evidence. This evidence could be:
  1. An outside job offer.
  2. Data regarding typical pay. You can get it from http://data.chronicle.com/, your disciplinary society, or your colleagues.
  3. Things you have done to benefit the university.

If your university is unionized, your collective bargaining agreement will say what you can ask for. You can also get advice from your union representative.


Generally speaking, promotion already comes with a salary increment. Traditionally, at least, though some recent changes, including Covid, may be changing that.

But the problem is that you don't have a lot of leverage at that point unless you are willing to move to another institution. Your contributions have just already been considered and rewarded. What additional things do you have to offer at that point?

The possibility/threat of leaving might be powerful for some, especially valued, individuals, but those are the folks most likely to get whatever financial incentives are available under a given system.

Some places with annual evaluations give faculty an opportunity to argue that their recent contributions have been especially valuable, likely to continue, and worthy of a salary increase. Take advantage of all such opportunities.

You probably have a better chance to argue for a change in job duties at a promotion point than a salary increment beyond the standard. Whatever helps you do your job better can possibly be supported.

  • "change in job duties" like reduce teaching load or something else?
    – Thomas Lee
    Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 0:10
  • That (reduced teaching) might be possible as long as you have a plan to balance that with something else of value - research, say. Some money to pay an intern or two. Travel money.
    – Buffy
    Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 0:11

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