ATHENS, Ga. -- University of Georgia professors make above-average salaries compared to their counterparts at other Southeastern Conference universities, according to the American Association of University Professors' annual salary survey.
The average full professor at UGA earns $107,000 - a total pay package of $132,600, once benefits such as health insurance and retirement contributions are added.
Associate professors get $77,900 in salary, and assistant professors, the beginning level, make $71,300, according to the survey, released Monday by the AAUP.
The pay grades put UGA in the top half of Southeastern Conference schools in each academic rank - especially at the beginning level. Only one SEC school pays assistants more than UGA, according to the survey; Vanderbilt pays assistants $72,500, compared to $71,300 at UGA.
UGA pay for experienced faculty still is behind the pay at universities the state Board of Regents considers comparable - so-called peer institutions.
For example, full professors at Michigan State University make $121,900, nearly $14,000 more than UGA professors. Associate professors make $85,900 - $8,000 more than UGA associates.
Assistant professors at UGA make more than the $66,900 salary the average Michigan State assistant earns, however.
UGA professors' pay also continues to lag well behind so-called aspirational institutions like the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the University of Virginia, schools that UGA officials hope to parallel one day.
UNC's full professors make nearly $143,000, about $35,000 more a year than full professors at UGA.
Georgia's best-paid professors teach at private Emory University, where the average full professor makes $153,400 and associates make $100,500.
Among public colleges in the state, Georgia Tech professors earn the most - $139,800 for full professors, $95,400 for associates and $83,400 for assistants.
Overall, however, UGA professors gained ground, at least compared to Southeastern Conference schools, according to the survey. At each pay level, UGA professors gained about $4,000 compared to last year.
UGA teachers won't climb on the ladder next year, however.
Because of the state's fiscal crisis, no state employees are scheduled to get raises next year. But, teachers in many other states won't be getting raises, either.
"We're hearing more and more, there will be none," said Saranna Thornton, Elliott Professor of Economics at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia and chair of the AAUP's Committee on the Economic Status of the Profession.
The entire national database of professors' pay is available and searchable at the AAUP Web site, www.aaup.org.