Professors' salaries have increased for the second year in a row. The increases come despite a sluggish economy, which led to across-the-board decreases in 2010.

The Chronicle of Higher Education places Bowdoin 11th among liberal arts colleges in terms of the salaries paid to full professors.

Bowdoin full professors are paid, on average, $130,000 annually. This is up from $127,600 last year. According to the report, the average salaries for associate professors rose from $89,600 last year to $91,900, and assistant professors experienced the largest average increase from $70,600 to $74,000. These amount to increases of 1.9 percent, 2.6 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively. Bowdoin is ranked 12th in average salaries for associate professors and ninth in average salaries for assistant professors.

The report also notes that the median salaries of Bowdoin professors rank in either the 96th or 97th percentile among undergraduate institutions in the survey.

While Bowdoin has slipped out of the survey's top 10 for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, its consistent presence near the top can be attributed to the College's 4-5-6 policy. Under this approach, the College determines the salaries of its faculty members by looking at the three-year lagging average of percentage increases for faculty at the colleges ranked fourth, fifth and sixth by average salary in Bowdoin's peer group. This allows Bowdoin to "maintain its compensation for faculty at levels competitive with those of other excellent liberal arts colleges," according to the College's faculty compensation policy.

"We have a specific 18-college peer group to whom we compare ourselves. During the economic downturn, the four-five-six policy was suspended when faculty salaries were frozen. Our faculty compensation presently places us exactly where the 4-5-6 policy expects us to be," wrote Dean for Academic Affairs Christie Collins Judd in an email to the Orient.

Among the top-ranked liberal arts schools in salaries paid to full professors are Wellesley, Claremont McKenna, Barnard, Amherst, and Harvey Mudd.

Faculty compensation comprised 22 percent of the College's budget for the 2012 fiscal year. In the 2010 fiscal year, professors' salaries comprised of 16 percent of the College's budget. Judd noted that this compensation includes health and other benefits in addition to faculty salaries. She explained that the 4-5-6 policy is based on a comparison of total compensation packages.

"We are committed to attracting and retaining an outstanding faculty, and the 4-5-6 policy ensures that our compensation for faculty is competitive," said Judd.

Editors' Note: A previous version of this article stated that in past years "Bowdoin often 'fell fourth or fifth,' according to a Chronicle report." This attribution was a mistake, and the sentence has been removed from the article. The Orient regrets the error.