Monday, March 26, 2012
David Levy, a former Chancellor at New School University, wrote an op ed article in the March 25, 2012 Washington Post where he basically argues that professors get paid too much for the work they do. As he states:
With the 1970s advent of collective bargaining in higher education, this began to change. The result has been more equitable circumstances for college faculty, who deserve salaries comparable to those of other educated professionals. Happily, senior faculty at most state universities and colleges now earn $80,000 to $150,000, roughly in line with the average incomes of others with advanced degrees.
Not changed, however, are the accommodations designed to compensate for low pay in earlier times. Though faculty salaries now mirror those of most upper-middle-class Americans working 40 hours for 50 weeks, they continue to pay for teaching time of nine to 15 hours per week for 30 weeks, making possible a month-long winter break, a week off in the spring and a summer vacation from mid-May until September.
Paul Krugman responds by writing an op ed for the New York Times. Professor Krugman, who teaches a Princeton, take is that "the idea that faculty at big state schools, let alone community colleges, have it easy is just mind-boggling."
My take on this is that anyone who thinks being a professor is easy because it only involves teaching 3 classes a semester does not know what most professors do. Teaching is only a small part of what they do. To teach 9 hours a week, the professor must prepare. They must also keep abreast of the latest developments in their fields. Many also spend a considerable amount of time doing research, meeting with students and serving on faculty committees.
Are some professors dead wood. Of course, but some doctors, lawyers, accountants, journalists are deadwood as well.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein