Faculty numbers are up in US physics departments. In 2010 there were a total of 9400 full-time-equivalent faculty members in 758 physics departments, up from 8200 FTEs in 766 departments a decade earlier.

Departments where the highest degree offered was a bachelor’s degree had an average of 5.9 faculty members; where the highest physics degree was a master’s, it was 13.3; and in PhD-granting departments, it was 29.2. All of those numbers are higher than 10 years earlier.

Overall, nearly one-fifth of physics faculty were in temporary or non-tenure-track positions in 2010. Such nonpermanent positions are the easiest to add or cut, so they provide a useful flexibility in a tight economy.

Those and related data are based on a 2010 survey by the Statistical Research Center of the American Institute of Physics. The report, Number of Physics Faculty Members, is available at http://www.aip.org/statistics/trends/reports/awf10physfaculty.pdf.

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