Students propose higher tuition, faculty raises

6/10/2013, at the University of Washington:

Students on the advisory committee, along with student-government leaders, said if lawmakers won’t give more state dollars to higher education, students would support a 3 percent tuition increase for in-state undergraduates — or about $322 — in 2013-14, and another 3 percent increase the next year. Total tuition and fees are currently about $12,400.   

A tuition increase of 3 percent could pay for a 2 percent raise for faculty and staff in the next school year and a second 2 percent the following year.   

Administrators affirmed the importance of the faculty salary issue. “Our No. 1 concern is compensation. After four years, we really are at the risk of losing some talented people,” said UW budget director Paul Jenny.  

UW administrators admit that low pay is a problem for retention. Here at UO, VPAA Doug Blandy regularly denies that faculty are leaving UO over low pay, despite the fact that a full professor at UW is paid about 12% more than at UO. UO pay actually fell last year for assistant and associate professors. More data here.

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24 Responses to Students propose higher tuition, faculty raises

  1. Bernie Madoff's rabbi says:

    Throw in the 6% “pickup” and that 12% gap with UW becomes 6%. Then look at the cost of living in Seattle. It then becomes mostly a matter of taste.

    With the pickup, the UO asst prof salaries look pretty competitive now.

    It’s the full profs who are really getting shortchanged, especially with the screwover the state seems determined into impose through PERS.

    But interesting that Blandy says faculty aren’t leaving. Did Lariviere claim that an alarming number of full professors were leaving to justify the good raise he gave?

    And, when it comes to the argument that subpar pay is good enough, the top administrators certainly don’t apply it to themselves!

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    • Peter Keyes says:

      When the Lariviere parity raise process was being developed, the 6% PERS pick-up was added into UO base salaries for comparison purposes, so I assume that in any return to thinking about raises, this would be true again.

      You’re right that it’s the more senior faculty who see the biggest disparities. That’s the compression problem. The union salary proposal includes funds to begin to deal with this again, but the administration counter-proposal is focussed on across-the-board and merit raises.

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    • Bernie Madoff says:

      I know all about these accounting niceties!

      Where the 6% is counted should certainly be clarified in any serious discussion/evaluation.

      My guess is they include the 6% as “salary” only informally, because they probably have to include it in “benefits” in required reporting to the federal government.

      It really is interesting how they seem to consider the senior faculty rather dispensable — in my firm, the senior people were treated very well!

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    • Daffy Duck says:

      Faculty compensation is too low at the UO for it to remain competitive as an AAU university, but we should present evidence and logic worthy of faculty at an AAU university. For example, we should make comparisons based on total compensation, not just this or that component.’tricks of the bargaining trade’ Also the ‘drop’ in average pay for associates must be due to a change in the composition of the group, unless in fact there are individual associates who had their annual rate reduced. We do ourselves no favor by succumbing to shallow logic and evdence, even if that standard is high enough for much or our senior administration.

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    • Bernie says:

      Daffy — This is an informal blog, not a place for formal analysis based on comprehensive data. The discussion is about a table of salaries — prepared by Johnson Hall, no? And whether and how pension contributions should enter into it.

      In my present circumstances, I’m in no position to claim access to authoritative knowledge — not that anyone would believe me anyway!

      This is the kind of stuff the senate budget committee used to issue splendid reports on — salary AND total compensation comparisons, with needed commentary, e.g. about how much the supposed pension contributions add to REAL compensation of individual groups.

      Do they still do this type of stuff? Haven’t had it called to my attention in recent years — and I have a lot of time on my hands!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dog says

      Bernie writes

      “not a place for formal analysis based on comprehensive data”

      I think that practice is actually forbidden on this campus.

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  2. Texas Guy says:

    Not a guy and not from Texas, but once referred to as such by UO Matters. I heard Scott Coltrane say last year, I think, that where UO once lost about half of the faculty given outside offers, it had by that point reached 90%. So yes, I think we do lose faculty to other places.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dog

      Unfortunately there is no reliable data on faculty leaving and why they leave and what their new salary is. I suppose its embarrassing and counter-productive to record this data but at least the number of TTF per year that
      accept other offers should be known. I personally have no idea if we are
      talking about 5 per year or 50 per year, though I suspect its closer to the former. Statistically one expects the square root of 650 TTF to diffuse out
      in any given year (that’s about 26 faculty, which is where I suspect we
      are at).

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    • Bernie Madoff's statistician says:

      Yo! Dog!

      That makes no sense about expecting the “leakage rate” to be proportional to the square root. That’s like saying that the rate of radioactive decay of a sample should be proportional to the number of nuclei in the sample.

      It’s the scatter in the rate that is proportional to the square root — not the rate itself — which can be anything.

      Dog, you need a refresher course or two!

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    • Anonymous says:

      dog

      its counting statistics, random fluctuations go as root N

      radioactive decay is a physical e-folding process – not subject
      to counting statistics

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    • Old Man says:

      “BM, a statistician” writes “That’s like saying that the rate of radioactive decay of a sample should be proportional to the number of nuclei in the sample.” But what is his point? To Scientists, it is an obvious truth that the rate of decay is proportional to the number of nuclei in the sample. Definition: Rate of decay = dN/dt = number of decays per unit time = (a rate constant characteristic of the nuclide) x (number of nuclei present). The apparent unwillingness of Economists to distinguish between a rate and a rate constant can lead to woeful misunderstandings. Some time ago, I made the mistake of trying to communicate with an Economist regarding air pollution. She thought that some tiny country with a large exponential growth rate constant (but, because of its small size, a low rate of growth) was a bigger pollution problem than China, which had a smaller growth rate constant. but, because of its immense population, a vastly higher growth rate. She decided I was crazy. I decided that Economists should learn to use the language that Scientists use. They won’t, of course, because, being Capitalists, they care more about the percent return per year (rate constant) than they do on the amount of return per year (rate).

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    • Bernie s statistician says:

      Yo — Old Guy!

      I meant “rate constnt.” It’s not proportional to the size of the sample and it can be anything, depends on the properties of the members of the sample.

      What Dog should be talking about is the rate constant for faculty departures (to greener pastures, not retirement). i.e. what % of senior faculty leave each year and how does this compare to other schools.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dog

      has no way of knowing anything about the last sentence and I doubt
      that data even exists. My entire (simple) point is that personally
      I don’t believe greener pasture exists are greater than what might
      be expected at random – I could be wrong.

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    • Daffy Duck says:

      dog is ‘spot’ on, but the square-root discussion thread reminds me of the formula for the intelligence of a crowd: The intelligence of the creature known as a crowd is the square root of the number of people in it.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Dog on larger issue

    My point is simply that the “faculty loss” from the UO is probably not larger
    then would would expect from random fluctuations for N=650–700, which means
    that there is nothing systematic going on, in my view. If you wanted to use
    another procedure for determining the random expectation value then that’s fine
    but I don’t know what that is.

    One can also take the number of faculty and divide that by a 30 year career to
    get the expected number of retirements/replacement faculty per year. That number
    comes out to 22-24 for even, statistical replacement (and we are probably slightly
    higher than that over the last few years for new hires).

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  4. Anonymous says:

    It should be pointed out that a more significant issue for many TTF that are well worth retaining is NOT compensation but various admin issues that make career development (or simply doing ones job) far more difficult that it should be. An extra $5-10k/yr at a place that does not foster research success in your field; that accumulates deadwood faculty that go on to be “stellar” admins.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dog agrees

      for the most part, the faculty that I know who have left for other pastures of various colors have done so not over salary reasons but for research infrastructure reasons and for opportunities for more professional growth.

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    • Oryx says:

      True, but the lack of meaningful salary increases offered to faculty is important for more than monetary reasons. It signals to those thinking of leaving that they’re not valued, in contrast to admins, whose salaries and numbers go up without end. It’s not that getting an extra few $k matters so much, it’s that not being offered it is lame.

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    • UO Matters says:

      UO’s administrators think about price elasticity all the time, when they are trying to rationalize their own salaries. They even think about it when considering raising the student tuition that pays those salaries, and when it comes to hiring new faculty.

      When it comes to current faculty, however, they know they are only game in town and that moving is very costly. They exploit that market power with below market wages. That’s what unionization is all about – a counterweight to the administration’s exercise of its monopsony power with respect to faculty. This is the standard economic efficiency argument for unionization.

      Why doesn’t UO exercise its market power to keep central administrators salaries low too? Because they are running UO for their own benefit.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yep… pretty much.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dog to Oryx

      Yes I agree on the signal. I think the admin views us faculty as simple
      interchangeable parts and that faculty morale is not a
      priority item for them.

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    • Anonymous says:

      But they give us those crystal apples every year! They must love us!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dog

      their love quotient stops at 3 per year

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    • Anonymous says:

      The JH admins think they are the university, and they want to rub our dog noses in that shit every day.

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