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UO faculty salaries $20K below AAU averages, whilst senior admins cash in

Last updated on 09/19/2014

The bargaining for a new faculty union contract starts in January. UO’s IR department has just released the data from the AAU Data Exchange on UO faculty salaries, pasted below. Full data, by department, here. I’ve added a spreadsheet showing the salary and comparators for our Johnson Hall administrators below that. (Note that the figure and table use different comparator groups, and also that UO is now using all AAU publics rather than the OUS 8 as the comparator. I’m sorry for the lack of NTTF and GTF data, but the AAU doesn’t care enough about you to collect it in any reliable fashion.)

I don’t know if UO’s reported faculty salaries include the 2013-14 union negotiated ATB and Merit raises, or Tim Gleason’s $350 goat. But UO clearly is way behind Richard Lariviere’s plan to get UO faculty to the AAU averages – by fall 2014. (Note that Lariviere was talking about the 8 OUS comparators, not all AAU publics as UO is now using, but this does not matter much to the conclusions.) Meanwhile Jamie Moffitt’s reserves continue to grow. Lariviere’s plan is here, as described in his 2011 letter to Pernsteiner:

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 10.39.32 AM

It ain’t happening:

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 11.19.35 PM

But Johnson Hall is doing more than fine:

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 11.59.29 PM

Time series for the faculty?

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 12.20.30 AM


  1. JH Admin 09/19/2014

    HA ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh wait, did I say that out loud?

  2. Leporello 09/19/2014

    A rising tide lifts all boats. (R.R.)

  3. honest Uncle Bernie 09/19/2014

    As I’ve pointed out ad nauseam, an honest comparison requires a look at total compensation, not just salaries. And when you do that, especially taking into account pension benefits, UO comes out looking not all that bad when matched against the public AAU campuses or our old OUS comparators.

    • uomatters Post author | 09/19/2014

      And our Johnson Hall colleagues look fatter still.

      • honest Uncle Bernie 09/19/2014

        Absolutely right on that!

  4. Anonymous 09/19/2014

    Doesn’t PSU’s most recent CBA link salary increases directly to AAU averages? I would like to see United Academics negotiate something similar. Until that happens, we will continue to lose ground.

    • Dog 09/25/2014

      The May 2011 raises in CAS were, in fact, directly tied to AAU
      averages. So, indeed, the UO did that, one time ….

      The Union raises then came on top of that – this is one of the reasons why they looked relatively good.

      • Anonymous 09/25/2014

        The 2011 raises, while tied to AAU, did not go to all or even most faculty. For most faculty on campus, the Union raises were the first since 2008.

  5. Awesome0 09/19/2014

    Uncle Bernie,

    I’d be willing to trade our more generous for a salary that matched external comparators (both based on aggregate market data, and micro data based on outside offers I’m aware of).

    Would you be ok with all of us having the choice between current salary with current benefits, and higher salary at external comparators but lower benefits? I’m pretty sure I come out far ahead with the higher salary, as would most in my department.

    • honest Uncle Bernie 09/19/2014

      Interesting question. In general, I’ve always favored “flexible benefits” (without some reasonable limits).

      When I was younger, I would have gladly taken higher salary and smaller pension benefits, because I needed the dough.

      Now, I’m glad I was getting the higher pension benefits. It all depends on your perspective, I suppose.

      However, I don’t see how you would come out “far ahead” with lower benefits, pension benefits at least.

      If X dollars that go into your pension benefit went into your salary instead, how would you be better off? For one thing, the money would no longer be tax deferred.

      For better or worse, we’re all probably stuck with the benefits/salary mix we have. As long as we are state employees.

      As academics, at least we have some choices in pension benefits, unlike most public employees.

  6. "What?" said a member of the puiblic. 09/20/2014

    Are you saying that if we increase the salaries of existing staff to the average of the AAU that the quality of education will suddenly rise to the equivalent of the average AAU institution? I don’t buy it. Paying existing staff more money to do the same work they have been doing does not change the value proposition. Higher salaries can attract new staff that might shift the value proposition over time but as long as we have people teaching at X quality for X price, increasing the X price doesn’t magically increase the X quality. Frankly, the insinuation is an insult because it implies that if you paid a faculty member more that they’d do a better job than they do today. Don’t the faculty currently try their hardest to educate our young people? I know that I do the best job I can every day and I hope that others do too. One can easily see the fault in this logic by applying it to administrators: “Our administrators are underpaid when compared to their AAU peers. Let’s pay them more and then things will get better.” Am I the only person that sees how ludicrous this argument is?

    • Anonymous 09/20/2014

      It’s called recruitment and retention, “member of the public”. These are simple concepts for any organization that wants to maintain excellence.

    • honest Uncle Bernie 09/22/2014

      member of the public, you truly don’t get it when it comes to incentives and how organizations work.

      And paying new people more while lowballing the current staff is one of the most effective ways known to poison the atmosphere for everyone.

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