Archive for September 25, 2013

Dispute on SUNY Pay Raises More Questions



September 24, 2013

There’s a conversation on the SUNY New Paltz campus where two sides never manage to meet in the middle.

One side regularly brings up the salary of adjunct faculty, noting that the college relies heavily on these people to carry a significant part of the course load for modest payments and no benefits. The latest attempt to extend this conversation concerned the six-figure salary of an administrator going away on a sabbatical, a generous payment by any standard and especially when contrasted with the money paid to adjunct faculty.

The other participant in this dialogue, the administration, dismissed the complaints and maintained that the two are “completely unrelated.” The sabbatical and the salary for the executive constitute “a testimony to his character and leadership.” He is “the kind of talented administrator you want around the university system.”

Now that’s something we can work with.

If talent, character and leadership are attributes that deserve bountiful compensation, as the administration maintains, then they should be considerations when it comes to paying adjunct faculty as well. That’s something that people beyond the campus, especially the students who apply and the parents who pay the bills, might want to think about.

The college has money to spend on people that it deems worthy….


Read entire editorial here.

$316,000 Pay to Administrator for Study Leave Riles SUNY Union

David Lavallee, SUNY Provost Emeritus Photo by Morgan Gwenwald

David Lavallee, SUNY Provost Emeritus
Photo by Morgan Gwenwald

Times Herald-Record

September 18, 2013

NEW PALTZ — Rebuffed at the negotiating table over increased pay levels for SUNY adjuncts, a SUNY professors union official is questioning how SUNY can pay an administrator $316,000 a year to take a study leave.

United University Professions (UUP) New Paltz Chapter President Peter D.G. Brown said SUNY cries poverty when it comes to paying adjuncts more than $3,000 per course. At the same time, it approved a plan for retiring SUNY executive David Lavallee to collect his current annual $316,000 salary while he goes on a six-month study leave.

Brown said on Monday that despite repeated Freedom of Information Law requests, SUNY has not provided a single document describing the nature or purpose of this study leave.

“He appears to have been put in a category all by himself,” Brown said.

See full article here:

Do College Professors Deserve a Living Wage?

counter punch
September 17, 2013
The Caste System in Academia
Do College Professors Deserve a Living Wage?

When running for reelection last year, Vice President Joseph Biden specifically singled out professors as one of the major reasons for the skyrocketing cost of college tuition: “Salaries for college professors have escalated significantly,” he said. Last month President Obama released his plan to hold down the costs of tuition and make college more affordable, which would certainly make it more difficult to raise faculty salaries.

Both President Obama and Vice President Biden should be experts on professors’ salaries. Obama was a nontenure track “senior lecturer” of Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago prior to his serving in the Senate and Biden’s wife Jill is an Associate Professor at Northern Virginia Community College.

Yet Obama and Biden have completely neglected the huge income disparity on college campuses between the comparatively well off tenure-track faculty, such as Jill Biden who earns $82,000 annually, and the deplorable situation of the nontenure-track faculty, whose plight is so bad that last year the Chronicle of Higher Education ran a story entitled, “From Graduate School to Welfare: The Ph.D Now Comes with Food Stamps.”

Indeed, one million college professors now teach off the tenure-track with poverty-level wages that have long-rivaled Wal-Mart and MacDonald’s workers. With the recent clamor for higher wages for unskilled labor, should our nation’s highly skilled “contingent” professors also receive the minimum wage for each and every hour they work, and time and a half for overtime?
How can college professors teach equality and a respect for diversity when they refuse to practice it in their own ranks? The two-track system is not a merit system; it is a caste system. Should the U.S. spend billions each year on a higher education system dedicated to offering better opportunities, jobs, and salaries for all of our citizens—except those who teach in the colleges and universities that make such opportunities possible?

Read more here.