UO faculty salaries fell relative to peers, from 94% to 90%, over first 5 years of Pres Schill

JH has finally posted the 19-20 comparisons of UO faculty pay to other AAU publics, after sitting on it since at least June. I don’t know when the 20-21 data, which is based on fall 2020 pay will be posted. (While these tables include instructor pay it’s based only 7 instructors for the entire AAU, so I’m just showing TTF.)

For a quick comparison I looked at data from the fall 2014 survey, the year before UO hired Pres Schill, and compared it with the 2019 data, 5 years later. I use “All Ranks Weighted” salary, which accounts for inter-institutional differences in the proportion of faculty by rank and discipline. So the admins can’t say our salaries are low because we had not engineering school.

Over these 5 years the weighted salary at UO fell from 94% of our peers to 90%. In nominal dollars it rose from $102,200 to $112,800, but after inflation this was an increase of only $41, while salaries at our AAU peers increased by about $4,163 in real 2014 dollars.

(Note that these numbers are the changes for the average professor with average rank etc. Obviously individual faculty see larger increases as they get promoted etc. Think of these as representing UO’s salary cost for its average professor in a given year.)

The data is here. You can get it broken out by dept, which is fun. The gist:

Fall 2014:

Fall 2019 (the “2018 AAU” bit is a typo):

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37 Responses to UO faculty salaries fell relative to peers, from 94% to 90%, over first 5 years of Pres Schill

  1. Dog says:

    well as you know I do like to differ over quantitative matters
    but you 5 year period is about right. Consider the following

    1. 2012 might be the best starting comparison year
    2. By fall 2014 union based raises, retroactive pay and all
    of that was sorted out
    3. So fall 2014 we should have seens significant increase compared to our peers starting in 2012
    4. As pointed out in this blog on a few occasions, since
    that initial Union action, future pay increased amounted to
    less than west coast inflation – in that case comparison
    with peers is kind of moot, but that less than inflation raise “policy” is the reason why your 5 year period reflects the decrease.

  2. thedude says:

    Bring back the tobacco lawyers!!!

    As pointed out 2014 was the best possible comparison for Schill (after first round of retroactive raises and largest raises we ever saw).

    They admins will counter enrollment dropped, but in 2014 it had swelled to levels that weren’t sustainable given current employment.

    Is this just that UO is losing in the market place of ideas and our enrollment is dropping while tuition goes up. Or is that the union is largely caving too quickly at the bargaining table.

  3. Anas clypeata says:

    The increase in total faculty FTE is interesting. It would be useful to see NTTF FTE trends along with these figures. There was a lot of concern five and ten years ago that the UO was decreasing tenure-line faculty FTE in favor of NTTF. Has that trend reversed? If so, is it better to have more tenure-line faculty positions with slightly eroded pay than more NTTF positions? Maybe that was a reasonable trade-off.

  4. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    I wonder, I have sent in two posts about enrollment and possible connection with salaries, and they haven’t been posted, are they not being received or are they just not deemed suitable?

  5. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    will try again shortly. It has a link to a UO website, could that be the problem?

  6. Thedude says:

    Here’s what I know.

    If raises are less than 6 percent I’m quitting the union. I don’t need to belong to an organization that’s getting me smaller raises than my parents get on social security which are based on only inflation.

    • cruel irony duck says:

      With inflation and UO’s lack of reaction to such, I’ve recently realized that my “reserve wage” (is there an economist in the house?) is about to surpass my total UO compensation (benefits included).

      Now comes the mandate beatings.

      I’d like to feel I’m doing some good here for the University and society in general. But in the end, family comes first.

    • Environmental Necessity says:

      1) how this strategy is going to help you get raises; 2) if you quit, please give back all benefits you have or will receive from the union, including past raises, the grievance process, and health care; 3) it is nice to know you don’t give a f*ck about anyone other than yourself; very Trumpian freeloadery of you; 4) Social Security is an entirely different context so your comparison is embarrassing for someone who I suspect fancies themselves an academic.

      • thedude says:

        The union needs to know they’re going to lose membership if they consistently fail to negotiate for raises that are at least up to par if not better than what our comparators at other schools are getting.

        Most AAU schools have already given raises of 4 percent for the year (some gave out raises last year too and some have given out endowment kickers (the richer AAU schools).

        What reason do I have to be in a union that quickly caves every single time we bargain? They’ll spend a bunch of time wasting time on parking proposals that don’t help (the university at least finally adopted a zoned parking system).

        I remember the hat. I remember when it was the #1 priority to get faculty salaries up to par with comparators. I think Schill is revealing that’s no priority for him (since his salary is already up there, especially because he gets a free house too…). Is getting salaries up to AAU comparators not a priority for the union (including career faculty salaries of course)? Instead our we going to keep the admins paying external consultants to run equity regressions to not pay equity pools (like last time)?

        Anybody that resorts to calling someone Trumpian because they don’t like what they said needs better arguments.

        • uomatters says:

          I’m with you Dude! IF(UO_Faculty_Pay < 0.95*AAU,Strike=1)

          • Duck OA says:

            Dear Faculty,

            Queen Jamie told all assembled OAs yesterday that raises beyond 3% are untenable else tuition must rise in step. Also “raises never go down” but inflation could…

            Good luck.

            • cruel irony duck says:

              Not sure who “Jamie” is, but the University is obviously sloshing in cash, and any claims of penury are utter horseshit. Not naming names, but I spy one C-level exec that’s scored a 41% total raise over the three latest reported years. Good for her. Still, we all need a taste of that.

              • Dog says:

                Queen Jamie has certainly now become Empress Jamie and has been in this position for far too long. I once thought she was a capable and better replacement for F. Dyke (never an empress or a queen …) but real life events have proven otherwise time after time.

                • uomatters says:

                  I disagree. VPFA Moffitt has done a great job, as evidenced by the fact that UO is leaving the pandemic in far better financial shape than we started. Also, please stop using nicknames for people, it’s just rude. Thanks, Bill “Hardballs” Harbaugh.

                • Dog says:

                  I would argue that the actual financial state of things is NEVER really disclosed to us, so there is no real way to know anything …

              • dudley says:

                Queen Jamie == Jamie Moffit

                • hm? says:

                  Pardon, what do you mean by ‘UO is in better shape’? Facetious? If not, who/what is in better financial shape? Administration? Buildings? Endowment? It’s not trickling down to faculty salaries…..

              • cruel irony duck says:

                Said CIO resigned today. If you live in the peanut gallery as I do, you heard it here first.

            • thedude says:

              Tuition has risen by that much and more.

              I don’t understand the unions default position tuition increase can’t pay for raises. Tuition is increasing. If it doesn’t go to raise, that means it goes to pet projects and waste does it not?

              • uomatters says:

                What makes you think the union is opposed to charging the fair market price for its members’ work?

          • thedude says:

            I’m striking either against the university or the union.

            The union gets to probably pick which one.

        • CSN says:

          thedude, what efforts have you made to assist the union in bargaining?

        • Environmental Necessity says:

          Faculty raises is a priority and should be a priority. My issue is with your statement is that you seem to think the chance of securing those raises is enhanced by weakening the union. I suppose some faculty members could individually negotiate a 6% increase but most could not – what power would they have? Why should UO be a dog eat dog labor market? Pitting everyone against each other won’t help that cause. That is the power of the union. Negotiating alone is your chance of reining in administrative bloat higher or lower? Also, you ignore the possibility (very likely, in my view) that the pay disparity would be greater still without a union or with a weaker union. And you reduce the value of the union to pay, which while obviously critical, is not the only benefit a strong union is able to help negotiate. Re: Trumpian, perhaps that is a low blow but the argument, the one you do not address but rather reject without reply, is that your position, as stated, reduces to no one else matters but you and your raises. That is the essence of Trumpian and it is an argument you do not even pretend to address. Also, your silence suggests you are willing to pocket the advantages of the union existing without contributing to what is required to maintain the union. It is called freeloading. Also very Trumpian.

          • Walrus says:

            I don’t read thedude’s comments that way. Negotiating together is better than negotiating alone. I see nothing in what thedude wrote that says he/she can negotiate better as an individual. But what if the group negotiating together doesn’t care about what you and many other members care about? thedude’s point, I think, is that the #1 priority should be salaries. Not parking, not verbiage, not whatever. Now, maybe the union’s #1 priority will be faculty salaries, and everyone will be on board. That’s great. But if not, what’s unreasonable or “Trumpian” about not wanting to be part of the crowd?

            If we can’t turn 5% /year tuition increases that we gouge the students for into salary increases, we’re doing something wrong.

            • thedude says:

              I worry more that the union bargaining could take on a revolving door relationship where those that play nice with the admin want to be invited dean or vice provost of this or that and get a hefty raise while being an admin for a while and then rotate back to faculty. This type of revolving door relationship is common in govt regulation (FDA, Pharma companies, tech companies) and it reduces the incentives to regulate. The same could happen here and would affect incentives to bargain.

  7. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    try again —

    Unfortunately, one can go here https://ir.uoregon.edu/enrollment and find that UO enrollment peaked near the beginning of the period in question, and since then has dropped by just a shade over 8.0%. Not a very positive indicator for money for faculty (and other) resources. I don’t know how the number of faculty changed over that time, but I’m not surprised that UO salaries would not keep up, if those other AAU schools were not suffering similar enrollment declines — and I have no reason to think they were experiencing anything as serious.

    • Thedude says:

      Some dude. They just had deans smart enough to buy enrollment insurance.

      Wouldn’t an 8 percent decline in enrollment be more a responsibility for the central admins? Yet their salaries keep.up with their comparators while ours don’t….

      • honest Uncle Bernie says:

        dude, I dunno. I don’t understand your first sentence. Enrollment insurance? Does such a thing exist? Did the other AAU schools have big drops like UO? I don’t think Oregon State (which is not AAU) did. I’m not saying the UO admin is without blame, not at all. But is enrollment entirely their responsibility? It seems to me such a notion diminishes the importance of the faculty — which is probably fine with the admin mindset. Has the UO faculty (including its union) had much discussion of enrollment issues? Shouldn’t an 8% drop be getting quite a bit of attention? And actually, the decline from UO’s peak enrollment, almost ten years ago, is more like 13%. More like a community college than an AAU? Perhaps our offerings are not so attractive anymore, for whatever reason? I’m raising questions, not claiming to have answers. But if the enrollment drop is real, and there’s not offsetting income — raising “prices” aka tuition is dangerous if you overdo it — Uncle Phil’s billion doesn’t help the old campus if it all goes across the street — if the finances aren’t there, the dough for faculty salaries probably isn’t either.

        • thedude says:

          Yes. A dean at UIUC saw the drop in intl students coming before Trump was elected and purchased enrollment insurance for a provided. It paid out quite well for them.

          The admins and coaches spend a ton on themselves, their payroll, marketing, new dorms, and their travel claiming all enrollment increases are their doing. But when enrollment drops it’s because the faculty aren’t good enough…..(and of course a reason the faculty aren’t better is some of the best faculty leave for better paying jobs).

          On the Phil issue, the easiest way to help the main campus right now is to convince Phil to support the law school which bears his name more, instead of it sucking away $10m a year from the rest of Campus (which is big money if you consider total payroll for faculty is $120m).

        • cruel irony duck says:

          UO seems more like a cross between a party school and a community college. Except perhaps that back in the day, party schools involved less gunfire and were way less grim.

          I just push a broom, so to speak, but as far as I’m concerned, faculty should be getting serious raises. Maybe not as much as those at the ‘C’ level, but at least 8% per year or so.

          But, in return, I want to see some real intellectual smack-down. I’ve been here a few years, and have barely seen a disagreement rise to the level of the Oxford comma. The _only_ interesting debate I’ve witnessed on campus involved that traveling preacher. I don’t agree with him in general, but he was a really impressive orator. Any professor worth their salt would have their students just sit and watch that guy. What was he doing, and why did it work?

  8. Dog says:

    With regard to inflation – decide for yourselves with the data, what your personal rate of inflation might be (yes I know my faculty ego has inflated in to the empress domain).

    You can find the best data at bls.gov

    Looks like the inflation rate for 2021 nationally will be 5% – likely a bit higher on the West Coast – this of course puts “real” salaries for UO faculty even lower …

    But we do have queens, empress’s and surely Kings …

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