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Some interesting heterogeneity in UO faculty pay relative to market

The Knight Campus, Ed School, and Journalism faculty are doing OK (and this does not include their lucrative consulting gigs or summer money). Business is at 91% of peers. CAS at 86%. Law salaries are the worst at 83%. All comparisons are to the other AAU publics, data and computations from the AAUDE. In the past I’ve found significant errors in the data JP Monroe’s office of Institutional Research submits to the AAUDE, but I have not checked these most recent numbers.

You can drill down to the department level at and find individual salaries by name at


  1. Deep Throat 03/20/2024

    Do we have a good Journalism and Communications School? That’s news to me. In any case congratulations to their dean for doing right by the faculty.

  2. honest Uncle Bernie 03/22/2024

    Is there any discussion of “total compensation” between svhools? i e. salary + benefits? e.g. the pension contribution “pickup” of 6% surely counts for something. And any remaining Tier 1 “optional” types are getting a great deal.

    • UO Matters Post author | 03/22/2024

      UO’s position is that the cost of faculty benefits is higher than average for the AAU publics, which is true. However they do not address the question of whether the benefits are higher. For example, UO pays more for health care than other universities because we subsidize the rest of the state employees – not because we get better insurance. We can’t split off for a cheaper plan because, as part of the corrupt deal with the state that led to the dismantling of the old OUS system Phil Knight and Tim Boyle etc agreed to stay in HEBB. It seems a bit unfair to use that deal to penalize faculty salaries. The story with PERS is even more twisted. Last I looked only about 50% of what UO pays into PERS will ever benefit current faculty. See “PERS by the numbers”. The rest goes to cover the exorbitant benefits past retirees (at UO and around the state) are receiving but did not contribute to. Google “Mike Bellotti PERS” for the most egregious example. Again, the cost of PERS is high, its value to current faculty is not. I feel Brian Fox’s pain when he complains about having to pay for these benefit plans, but his beef should be with the clever billionaires who figured out how to buy UO and make make others pay for it, and not with the faculty.

      • honest Uncle Bernie 03/22/2024

        I think the 6% pickup is pretty easy to understand. It should be counted in making comparisons. I think the total 401k type retirement benefit is pretty easy to understand too. If it is worth so little, perhaps the U could propose that the state eliminate it. I’m sure the faculty would love that.

        The health insurance not so easy. But try making the argument that faculty should have their own, less costly plan because they are healthier on average than typical Oregon public employees.

        • Keaton Miller 03/26/2024

          The discussion you are looking for is in the presentation I posted to YouTube at 47:07. (

          The punchline is that from the faculty perspective, the current retirement plans and health plans are approximately average relative to the AAU. Both the current PERS tier and the health plans can roughly be characterized as “pay a little less, but also get a little less in benefits.”

          As my “first love” in this profession was health economics, I would love to be able to take a deep dive into PEBB claims data and see what’s going on there, but I don’t know how likely it is that I’ll ever get access to the data I’d like. If anyone knows anyone, I’d be very happy to offer some consulting to the state at reasonable rates.

  3. UO Matters Post author | 03/24/2024

    Nothing about PERS is easy to understand. If I have it right the 6% pickup only goes to employees hired before 2014. And even for them it’s no longer all gravy – PERS takes some off the top (how much depends on their salary) and puts it in a different pot to cover the funding shortfall. At least that’s what that pot’s supposed to be for. So yeah this helps explain a part of the low pay for fulls and older associates, but only a small part.

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