An Analysis of Faculty Instructional and Grant-based Productivity at The University of Texas at Austin

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on November 13, 2011

An Analysis of Faculty Instructional and Grant-based Productivity at The University of Texas at Austin – Marc A. Musick, Associate Dean for Student Affairs,, College of Liberal Arts, Professor of Sociology, November 2011: “As a university of the first class, UT Austin boasts rankings that put it among the best public research universities in the nation and among the best universities in the world. Generations of people in Texas have spent decades of tireless work to create this institution, and it has served the state with distinction by conferring hundreds of thousands of degrees, generating billions in research funding, training generations of Texas leaders, and, in general, being one of the major intellectual incubators in the state.
Unsurprisingly, because of the stature of the university, it has faced many questions about its quality and productivity over the course of its history. Such questions are important for the university as they force administrators, faculty, staff and students to think critically about the school and how it fulfills its important mission to the State of Texas.
Those conversations on quality and productivity persist even today. But, unlike the discussions that occurred in previous generations, today the university can bring to bear large amounts of data to examine both productivity and quality. This past spring, the University of Texas System helped in that endeavor by releasing a large data set meant to measure faculty productivity at UT Austin and other system universities. These data fed into the conversation of productivity at the university, but, to date, no thorough analysis has been conducted to determine what they really tell us about the current state of faculty productivity at the university. This report is an effort to conduct such an examination of the data. It finds, in general, that the 1,988 tenured and tenure track professors at the University of Texas at Austin work very hard for their students and provide an incredible return on investment for the state. Specifically, the findings show:

  • Professors taught over 2.5 million weighted semester credit hours in 2009-2010 with an average of over 1,300 per professor;

  • The weighted semester credit hours produced by professors translates into approximately $161 million in revenue to the university from the state;
  • About 860 professors (43 percent) generated external research funding for a total of almost $400 million, or about $460,000 for each professor generating funds;
  • Combining teaching and external sources, professors produced about $558 million in revenue;
  • Professors were paid about $257 million in state funds;
  • Based on these numbers, UT Austin professors generated over twice their compensation from those revenue sources.

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