"Ambitious aspiration to be one of the third best public research universities in the world [sic]"
And the consequences are:
a) See our new power couple
b) See below
Research becoming priority for higher salary
By Emma Carew
Aassociate professor of piano Paul Shaw recently learned, much to his surprise, that his salary is much lower than the average of others at his rank.
"I always thought that my salary was on the low end," Shaw said. "But I didn't know it was that low."
Shaw said although he is in a tenured position, his salary is about $30,000 less than the $82,543 average for associate professors, and it is also lower than the average for assistant professors, as reported by the Daily on Tuesday.
"People don't really care whether or not you can teach," he said, "so long as you have this high profile reputation in your field as a doer."
There is a disconnect between the administration's "lip service" of how important teaching is, Shaw said, and where the money actually goes.
"There are people who are excellent teachers and they bend over backward for their students," he said. "The money doesn't go toward that."
Shaw said he once sat on a search committee for an opening for assistant professor, an entry-level rank; it was an experience he found somewhat embarrassing.
"They're offering a base salary of more than what I'm making," he said. "I pointed it out to my unit director, and I noticed that I haven't been asked to serve on any search committees since."
When the writing studies department was created two years ago, it combined teaching specialists from the old General College program with lecturers from the now-defunct rhetoric department and the English department.
According to an instructor in the department, who asked not to be named for fear of losing his job because of his annual renewable one-year contract, the teaching staff that came from the General College are being paid between $5,000 and $10,000 more per year than those who came from rhetoric and English.
Although the first-year writing program was touted by the administration as an integral aspect of the strategic positioning plan, the instructor said he feels like it was a hollow priority because pay equity doesn't seem to be part of the plan.
"At this University, this is a dead end job," he said.
Teaching staff who fall into the professional and administrative category end up teaching three or four classes a semester, Sirc said, because they aren't expected to conduct research.
"Four courses a semester can lead to burn out," he said. "It's an unfortunate implication for students."
But for whatever reason, inequities do exist within colleges and departments, Stenhjem said.
Human resources and industrial relations professor John Fossum said the University may be leaning toward higher levels of classes taught by adjunct, part-time and non-tenure-track faculty in order to free up tenured and tenure-track professors for revenue-generating research.
As state funding for public institutions dries up, Fossum said universities have to be able to increase funding from other sources, such as research productivity and tuition.
"The hiring of part time faculty is a way of increasing productivity in terms of generating student credit hours," he said.
Fossum said it's often difficult to judge good teaching, but that it's much easier to measure research productivity.
Sirc said he would hope that, despite the pressure for emphasis on research, faculty members are still striving to be great teachers.
"I would hope that the value (of good teaching) is priceless," he said.
Bob, Tom? You've been strangely quiet on these issues...
Emma - you're on a roll. Keep up the good work. Maybe you could do the Rappin with Robert bit next year? He'd know he was in a hardball game.