Saturday, May 26, 2018
Opinion

Column: Court vs. class: no contest

The American Association of University Professors is out with its latest annual report on the economic health of its members' profession. Executive summary: It's pretty weak. But this year, the AAUP has added a fun little wrinkle by comparing the growth of academic and sports spending. Particularly intriguing is this chart contrasting pay growth for faculty and head coaches. In the top football and basketball divisions, the median inflation-adjusted pay for head coaches roughly doubled between 2005-06 and 2011-12. But coaches in minor sports didn't do so badly either: In D1-AA golf and tennis, pay packages grew by 79 and 53 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, even at doctoral institutions (shown here as category I), professors managed only a 4 percent real raise over that time. However, on any given campus, there will be far more full professors than head coaches. That means a relatively small increase in faculty pay, distributed across a whole institution, would add up quickly. It would be interesting to see what this chart would look like if the professors were just represented by the highest paid faculty member of each department.

Jordan Weissmann, Slate

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