Study: Colleges spend efficiently when it comes to faculty pay
- Inside Higher Ed reports on a recent survey of 11 tenure-track and tenured faculty courses between the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan over a 12 year period, revealing that colleges often use metrics of efficiency, such as research produced and impact of discipline, in guiding salary decisions.
- The study of arts and sciences course shows that class sizes, which often play a role in determining faculty pay, are more often dictated by the output of professors in research and publishing, which leads to smaller undergraduate teaching loads but also increases graduate education requirements.
- Authors conclude that institutions with smaller budgets are often pressured to offer baccalaureate students more access to high-profile professors to "build prestige."
The study suggests that top colleges and universities make their reputations by limiting the course responsibilities of highly-productive professors, which is similar to the selectivity with which some institutions admit students. Culturally, this adds to the growing achievement gap between institution types and contributes to the war to recruit and retain top professors.
However, presidents and provosts have a larger issue to contend with, even within the effort to keep top minds on campus and engaged in research: the goal of teaching and mentoring low-income and minority students who are the new target for admissions, but could be a hindrance to some professors who limit class time and advising in the name of research. Presidents must carefully balance this prospect with considerations for adjunct and graduate student hiring, potential costs associated with benefits, and other economic factors which could influence undergraduate academic engagement.
- Inside Higher Ed Rational actors
- Education Dive Why the endowed chair position is becoming a key tool in faculty recruitment