Thursday, February 14, 2008

I've heard professors complain about their salaries

...have you? A report from statscan reports that professors at the University of Victoria make an average of $110,000. OUCH. I'm not saying that professors are overpaid. I can imagine that professors are probably poorly paid with respect to their average contribution to society. I just want them to stop complaining.

P.S. I had a sociology professor first year that spent the whole course talking about the evils of inequality. She complained about her salary more than any other professor I've had....yeah.


Anonymous said...

One metric might be that people expect to be paid for their human capital, their years of investment in schooling. Most professors have as many or more years of education than doctors or lawyers, but get paid much less.

It is nevertheless irritating to complain when you are in the top 10% (or higher?) of income earners. And more ridiculous to complain to someone making 20% of what you make...

By the way, what exactly is underground about your blog? It all seems very classical and above ground to me.

Chris said...

I don't know what the details of the number you quote are, perhaps there is a question of the shape of the distribution, but entry level professors (to my understanding) make something like 70k, which after 10 years of postsecondary education, comprehensive exams, thesis defenses, and some time potentially sweating away at a post doc, seems a bit low. The 70k figure is roughly in line with if not lower than people in professional fields make after as many years, but having only finished an undergrad.

On the upper end of the scale, a senior professor, but one who is not an administrator typically makes 110-140k in Canada which is in line with senior professionals. So at least from a financial point of view, the 10 years in school don't add up to much.

I suspect the distribution is also skewed by highly paid administrator types (300k+ for heads at universities). Is that 110k figure a mean or a median?