Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Salaries In COBA

As new rumors about the econ department have been swirling lately, I wondered what the salary differential was like. Besides the hatred for Dean Zimmerman that oozes from that department, perhaps they are thinking that they will get a big salary boost so that they will be financial equals of their new colleagues.

Here are the figures for all ranks of professors:

COBA: 85,700
Economics: 65,200
English: 52,400

The economists are already doing quite well relative to the English department, but perhaps they are hoping for another $20,000 to balance with business. I'd vote to change colleges if they offered me 20 grand!


Janine said...

I don't know much about how the UW system organizes their pay scale. However, I've always thought a professor was paid a salary based on the amount of experience, number of times they've been published, etc.

Is that what the figures here show? Does this mean that COBA professors have more experience than Economics and English professors?

I guess my real question is --- how does the UW system come up with their salary scale?


Anonymous said...

There is no single salary scale for professors. Starting salaries are based by discipline. Some disciplines have a large supply of PhDs available, and others have smaller numbers. There always seems to be large numbers of English and History PhDs willing to teach, so salaries for them can be low. The supply of PhDs in say accounting or engineering is low, so salaries are high to attract the few available.

Lake Winneblogo said...

It is true that salaries are based on market-like dynamics. And universities are taking advantage of the oversupply of PhDs in many disciplines by reducing salaries and hiring off the tenure-track.

One new assistant professor in the business school's starting salary was over $100,000. We could have 2 new professors in the liberal arts for the price of one in business. Would students benefit less or more?

Another way that people look at this is as one of equity. Do business professors really do that much more work than anyone else at the university? Why should they be unequally compensated for equal work?

Janine said...

It seems that maybe the bickering shouldn't be between colleges themselves, but, rather with the system as a whole. Possibly the UW system should stop it's squabling over what RA's are doing and concentrate on having a more equal pay scale. That would benefit all students in the UW system.


Anonymous said...

I am always amazed that English and History professors get so bitter about their pay when they chose the fields they are in. Were low salaries ever news to them?

I certainly agree that people in COLS work just as hard as people in COBA. In a perfect world, they would get the same pay. But in the world we are in, there is no reason to pay more for COLS English profs (there are lots out there who would gladly take a job for 40K), and it would be impossible to hire business profs for $40K since they have many places that would pay them more.

The real question is, are you willing to work for the salary you have been offered. If yes, take the job. If no, look elsewhere. Since everyone on campus said "yes," let's just move on.

Lake Winneblogo said...

It is true that many have made compromises in income for pursuing a career that they love. That is why academia still has no shortage of adjuncts and part-timers.

People also say yes in droves to working in abysmal conditions all over the world because they have no better options. Just because you can mistreat someone, does that mean you should?

To say that we just have to accept the current conditions of our employment and our lives is to abdicate our responsibility as members of our community.

What I was pointing out was that there is a great income disparity between economists and business college faculty. Perhaps that explains their desire to flee COLS.