News: CJ Exclusives

The State of the State (of Higher Education)

Chronicle reports on funding, degree trends at N.C. colleges

Every year, The Chronicle of Higher Education releases its fact-filled almanac issue, which provides useful information about colleges and universities in every state. Some of the key findings about North Carolina are noted here.

To begin with, North Carolina has 16 public four-year institutions, 59 public two-year institutions, 44 private nonprofit four-year institutions, one private non-profit two-year institution, and 17 private for-profit institutions. These add up to a total of 137 higher education institutions in the state.

University finances

Despite the economic downturn, university funding and spending grew in 2011.

• State and federal support for higher education in North Carolina rose 6 percent between academic years 2009-10 and 2010-11.

• Two of the 99 American institutions that charged more than $50,000 for tuition, fees, room, and board in 2010-11 are located in North Carolina: Wake Forest University ($50,980) and Duke University ($51,865).

• Wake Forest ranked 5th in the nation in licensing income (income from patents) in 2009 at $95,636,362.

• Average tuition and fees at public four-year institutions in North Carolina (2009-10) were $4,559. At private four-year institutions, average tuition and fees were $23,788.

• Duke has the largest endowment in the state: $4,823,572,000.

Academics

Several North Carolina universities were among the nation’s big spenders on scientific research. Not surprisingly, those schools also received considerable funding from federal grants.

• Four of the top 100 schools in total spending for science (2009) are located in North Carolina: Duke ($805 million), UNC-Chapel Hill ($646 million), North Carolina State University ($380 million), and Wake Forest ($201 million).

• Four of the top institutions in federal dollars for science (2009) are located in North Carolina: Duke ($438 million), UNC-Chapel Hill ($431 million), Wake Forest ($144 million), and N.C. State ($135 million).

• In fiscal years 2008 and 2009, UNC-Chapel Hill constructed the most new space for science and engineering research in the country: 355,000 square feet.

• Total spending on research and development by North Carolina universities was $2.16 million in 2010-11.

• N.C. State was among the top 20 universities in number of doctorates awarded in economics in 2008-09 (19 degrees).

• UNC-Chapel Hill was among the top 20 universities in the number of doctorates awarded in history in 2008-09 (18 degrees.)

The students

North Carolina colleges and universities are growing — especially public ones.

The number of new high school graduates in North Carolina is expected to grow 16 percent between 2011-12 and 2021-22.

• From 1999 to 2009, undergraduate enrollment in North Carolina schools grew 43 percent.

• Of students attending college in North Carolina in 2009, 83 percent attended public universities.

• UNC-Pembroke was one of the fastest-growing public master’s universities in the country between 2004 and 2009, increasing enrollment 33 percent.

• Minorities constituted 33 percent of North Carolina university enrollment in fall 2009.

• In North Carolina, 27 percent of residents have at least a bachelor’s degree. Nine percent have at least a master’s degree, up from 26.1 percent and 8.7 percent over last year, respectively.

• State residents made up 73 percent of all freshmen enrolled in North Carolina in fall 2008. Eighty-five percent of all North Carolina residents who were freshmen attended college in their home state.

The professors

Average pay for professors in North Carolina was well above the average per capita personal income in the state:, currently $35,638.

• The average pay of a full professor at a public doctoral institution (like UNC-Chapel Hill or N.C. State) was $120,310 in 2009-10. Average pay for an assistant professor was $71,338.

• The average pay of a full professor at a public master’s institution (like UNC-Pembroke) was $90,621 in 2009-10. Average pay for an assistant professor was $62,192.

• The average pay of a full professor at a private non-profit doctoral institution (like Duke) was $149,686 in 2009-10. Average pay for an assistant professor was $74,335.

• The average pay of a full professor at a private non-profit master’s institution (like Elon University) was $66,139 in 2009-10. Average pay for an assistant professor was $49,818.

The Chronicle of Higher Education compiles information from a wide variety of sources, including the federal government and associations such as the National Association of College and University Business Officers. CJ

Jenna Ashley Robinson is director of outreach for the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy (popecenter.org).