Full professors at Yale have the sixth highest salaries in the country and the third highest in the Ivy League, according to a new survey by the American Association of University Professors.

On average, the University’s tenured senior professors earned $138,800 in the 2003-2004 academic year, an increase of $1,600 from the previous year, according to the survey results placed in a database by the Chronicle of Higher Education. In the Ivy League, only Harvard and Princeton faculty earned more, receiving, on average, $157,500 and $145,600 respectively.

“It’s not an accident that the three highest-paying Ivy League institutions have by far the highest average endowments per student in the Ivy League,” said Cornell professor of industrial and labor relations Ronald Ehrenberg, who chaired the committee that created the report.

The survey, which Ehrenberg said includes responses from 1,446 institutions, looked at four categories of educators — full professors, associate professors, assistant professors and instructors — and included all professors at each institution except those at medical schools. Overall, adjusted for inflation, salaries increased 0.2 percent, Ehrenberg said. He said this was due to both significant decreases in funding for state universities and declining endowment returns.

At Yale, associate professors earned $78,500 on average, down $1,000 from last year; assistant professors received $66,500, up $2,700; and instructors took home $53,100 on average, up $1,000.

Yale pays close attention to how faculty salaries compare to those at peer institutions in order to attract and retain its instructors, University Deputy Provost Charles Long said. But Long said Yale does not consider the AAUP data as useful as that from some other surveys because the study looks at salaries university-wide rather than comparing individual parts.

“When we do salary comparisons, we compare ourselves school by school,” Long said.

In a private study, the University’s faculty of arts and sciences, for example, is usually well above the national average, Long said.

Yale’s average salaries for full professors were above the national average for private doctoral institutions and above the average for the Ivy League, but the University’s salaries for associate professors and assistant professors were below those averages.

On the specific category of associate professors, Long said the statistics were not comparable. Yale has so few people it places in that category, he said, that when someone comes or leaves there is a large change in the average. Long said Yale generally separates its professors into tenured and nontenured categories for the sake of comparison.

Long said the average salaries of assistant professors are highly influenced by the inclusion of professors from all of the schools of a university. Yale’s law and business schools and its engineering department have fewer faculty members than those at Harvard, Long said, and this greatly affects the average salaries of assistant professors. Assistant professors at Harvard earned on average $15,600 more than their counterparts at Yale last year, according to the survey.

Ehrenberg agreed that including these professors can have a large effect. For example, Ehrenberg said, the University of Pennsylvania, where full professors average $138,500 a year, has large law and business schools. Cornell University, whose full professors earn on average only $126,300 per year, has smaller equivalent schools.

“Salaries of law and business professors are much higher than the salaries of everybody else,” Ehrenberg said.

Cost of living also affects salaries, Ehrenberg said. He noted that it costs much more to live in Boston than in Ithaca, NY, where Cornell is located. Full professors at Yale earned $32,100 more on average than equivalent professors at the University of Connecticut, the only other institution in the same category in the state.