University salaries lower than peers

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ATLANTA --- In many respects Susan Mattern has a successful career. The University of Georgia associate professor has tenure. She once led the faculty government council, and this year she is publishing her fourth book.

She's also thinking of quitting.

The reason is that her pay, $61,000, is significantly less than she could get somewhere else.

"It seems like there's not really a reward to experience and seniority and loyalty and competence," she said.

A recent study shows the average faculty salary at the university is 3 percent lower than comparable universities across the country. Nearly all of Georgia's 34 universities and colleges fall below the comparison.

The biggest gap is at Kennesaw State University, where faculty fall 18 percent below their peers.

"I took this partly because at the time Georgia had a reputation of supporting higher education ... which it is in the process of destroying," she said.

The man who writes the budget for Georgia's public universities ordered the study to learn the scope of the problem. Rep. Bob Smith, R-Watkinsville, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee's Higher Education Subcommittee, said faculty salaries and building maintenance were the top issues when he asked all the college presidents for their main concerns.

He describes the study as the first step in setting larger priorities for higher education.

The situation arose when the state cut funding for education to cope with the previous recession, said Arnett Mace, the senior vice president for academic affairs at UGA. To keep key faculty from leaving, Mr. Mace has made 136 counter offers in the past two years and shifted money to salaries that had been earmarked for other uses.

According to the study, it would take $38 million to bring salaries to the average among comparable institutions, and another $8 million to do the same at the technical colleges.

AVERAGE FACULTY SALARIES


Here are the average salaries for faculty at selected Georgia schools compared to the average at similar institutions in size and mission.

Institution Professor Assoc. Prof. Asst. Prof. Comparison
Augusta State $76,495 $56,240 $50,462 -3%
Med. College of Ga. $109,371 $76,262 $61,344 -5%
University of Georgia $99,879 $71,027 $64,966 -3%

Source: The Competitiveness and Compression of Faculty Salaries in Georgia's Public Institutions prepared for the Georgia House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education

Comments (13) Add comment
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hangemhigh
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hangemhigh 02/12/08 - 08:59 am
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ever wonder why it cost so

ever wonder why it cost so much to go to college???? Da

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 02/12/08 - 09:17 am
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I post it again: Any time you

I post it again: Any time you have a ranking of anything, half of the items on the list will be above the median and half will be below. You would still see this same victim-mentality article in the paper even if all the professors were given 100% raises. Some would still be below others and they would belly-ache.

GSneed
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GSneed 02/12/08 - 09:28 am
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$100,000/year goes a

$100,000/year goes a LOONNNNNNGGG way in Athens and Augusta, GA! Much further than, say, in New York or California! Let's compare apples to apples, people.

hobo
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hobo 02/12/08 - 09:38 am
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ask about their actual work

ask about their actual work week . In most cases faculty are on a 9 month appointment so the salary analyses is deceptive 60K is not bad if a faculty member in on a nine month appointment and has three months off .many of these people are disconnected from the real world -they get tenure and have job protections that most people don't have.

everwonderwhy
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everwonderwhy 02/12/08 - 09:59 am
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WOW. Wish I made $61,000.

WOW. Wish I made $61,000. Apparently some people aren't in the real world.

A. Reader
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A. Reader 02/12/08 - 12:00 pm
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Journalists need to do more

Journalists need to do more than just pass on results of skewed surveys - especially when a study is commissioned with an a priori bias that faculty in Georgia are underpaid. The article should have questioned where the Georgia universities rank in cost of living compared to the peer universities.

Also, salaries are only part of any compensation package. Benefits and deferred compensation are equally important.

Mr. Jones, please don't just re-word a press release without questioning its motivation and agenda.

FedupwithAUG
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FedupwithAUG 02/12/08 - 12:13 pm
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everwonderwhy, I doubt you

everwonderwhy, I doubt you went to college for 6 to 8 years to get your doctorate so you can teach and make 61K. They didnt just go to careerfinder dot com and land the job. They are teaching the future go getters and not the thugs that drop out of school with a free education from us taxpayers. They should be making more, it's a better incentive then selling drugs or robbing people.

Kerri894
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Kerri894 02/12/08 - 12:35 pm
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They deserve the higher

They deserve the higher salary after investing so much money and years into their education and higher degree. Yes, they deserve that and much more. That is the real world of sacrificing for a higher degree, and reaping the rewards afterwards.

jarhead123
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jarhead123 02/12/08 - 01:10 pm
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I think the study failed to

I think the study failed to show Augusta Technical College as well since they too are State run.

mojo
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mojo 02/12/08 - 01:29 pm
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Idiots! You learn professors

Idiots! You learn professors are underpaid and you're jealous?! Let's see you spend four years in college (you have to do very well) then go on to earn your graduate degree (at least two years of intensive study - you'll have to do even better) and then keep studying for at least another five years to earn your doctorate degree (extremely demanding study). Let's see, that's a minimum of 11 years of education - think of just the tuition for a moment - then add in the lost income you could have earned over those 11 years (at least $500,000). Now are you really in a position to think you've earned a right to that $61k a year salary?

johnny24
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johnny24 02/12/08 - 01:53 pm
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mojo, are you saying that

mojo, are you saying that you should get paid for getting an education? I thought an education was to enable a person to be be highly skilled so that they may be highly productive in our wonderful opportunity-filled free market. Professors are not highly productive members of society. Their salaries come from productive tax payers. Only in government do employees' salaries not reflect the value of the employee. $50-100 is not a large salary but so what.

tiredOFitALL
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tiredOFitALL 02/13/08 - 01:55 pm
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POINT 1 - if not mistaken,,

POINT 1 - if not mistaken,, one can look up the salary structure of most all jobs BEFORE they ever embark on the college track to attain that position. POINT 2 - most professors , at least the ones i had in college only taught 3 maybe 4 classes a quarter,, not hardly a full 8-10 hour day job. POINT 3 - many college positions have tenure, which means short of murder,, you can just about stay there forever. POINT 4 - benefits-benefits - benefits in any state job are great. POINT 5 - go to NY or CA and take that college positon that pays 15,000 more, your house is probably 2XGa price plus taxes.
NO SYMPATHY HERE.... if you do not like,,,, do something else.

ova_achieva75
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ova_achieva75 03/12/08 - 01:33 pm
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To Tired of It All, Your

To Tired of It All, Your point by point argument is nicely laid out, no doubt someone taught you well. It also makes it much easier to respond. COUNTERPOINT 1- looking up the salary structure for most jobs before going to college to attain a position, gives varied results based on where you take the job and does not take into consideration the type of cut backs experienced by state agencies, especially public education, which has meant no raises or 1% raises across the board instead of merit raises of 5-7% for several years. COUNTERPOINT 2-No professor's job ends with teaching classes. Grading, counseling students, lesson plans, administrative duties, and research add up to well over 40 hours a week. COUNTERPOINT 3-MOST positions in colleges are not tenured. Many schools have faculty who are at lecturer or part-time status that have no tenure option and positions that are tenured require years of experience, research, publishing, and hard work. COUNTERPOINT 4-Good point though the report may have taken benefits into consideration as well. COUNTERPOINT 5-No one cares if you don't sympathize. Just remember that when GA is behind in everything because all of the good teachers left.

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