“We’re Only In It for the Money”

… well, it’s one of my favorite albums, and I can confidently say I’ve listened to it hundreds of times over the years, but it sure as heck doesn’t apply to my career.

Each year the Chronicle of Higher Ed rolls out the annual faculty salary survey, and each year I await the results with a mix of fascination and horror. I know English profs don’t exactly rake it in, and that’s even more true at small colleges like mine. In fact, I’ve said for years that Mrs. M’s salary as a first-grade teacher is what supports my professing habit. All the same, seeing that I make 70% of what the typical prof of my rank and institutional type pulls in (my salary is right at my institution’s average) splats against the side of my face like I was a participant in a Monty Python sketch.

I’m really not complaining (well, not much — kvetching about one’s pay is an inalienable right). Mondoville’s cost of living is low, and the benefit of a low-cost education for the Spawn is a big reason I got into this racket. And of course, I love what I do (as well as the fact that it gives me the freedom to do other things I love, like write stories and play music), and I think being around the kids every day keeps me relatively energized. On top of all that, it’s a much better paying gig than my days in the magazine biz. I’m happy here.

All the same, as I hear the kids on campus saying “For X dollars per year, you’d think we’d have Y,” (leaving aside the fact that after scholarships, grants, and the like, most Mondovillians actually pay roughly $X/2 — the dirty little secret of the discount rate), I think it would be useful to post the data in the hope that they’ll realize the profs aren’t getting Y either.

About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
This entry was posted in Education, Why I Do What I Do. Bookmark the permalink.

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