[Excerpt] The AAUP data not only document faculty salary levels, but may also play a role in determining future levels. They represent average data for all full-time faculty members at the university, excluding faculty in medical colleges and health sciences. Thus, they can not be used to compare salaries within a discipline across institutions. They have long been used, however, by faculty on budget or finance committees to inform discussions with central administrators regarding the parameters of the next year’s budget (e.g. tuition increases, faculty salary increases, and endowment payout rates). Often, the faculty and administration will agree on a set of institutions that they consider their competitors for faculty and discuss where they want to rank vis a vis their competitors with respect to faculty salaries. If an institution’s relative salary position declines over time, faculty try to use this to pressure the administration to raise salaries at a more rapid rate. Conversely, if the institution’s relative salary position improves beyond where the institution wanted to be, the administration can use this information to suggest a moderation of faculty salary increases in the following year. Because both faculty and administrators around the nation understand the usefulness of these data, response rates to the survey have historically been very high, save for two-year colleges.