If you teach a professional skill at the University, odds are you are paid more than someone teaching the humanities.
A wide gap separates the salaries of faculty in professional schools, like the Law School, from those of professors in the College of Liberal Arts.
History professor Sara Evans emphasized the complexity of the University’s pay system. She said the market system within the University is partially responsible for large differences in pay scales.
“Doctors and lawyers can go outside the University and make big money,” she said. “There is not a huge private sector demand for people in the humanities.”
Administrators in the professional schools acknowledge the pay differences, but many say it is purely a result of market pressure.
“The salaries in the Law School are market-driven,” said Sharon Reich, associate dean of the University’s Law School.
Reich pointed out that the Law School receives the lowest state subsidy of any college on the University’s campus. Many of the expenses associated with the higher cost of Law School salaries are covered by gifts and endowments from the legal community, she said.
But there are members of the faculty who believe salaries should reflect more than market pressures.
Steve Gudeman, chairman of the Finance and Planning Committee for the Faculty Consultative Committee, said it is important to understand what salaries symbolize to faculty.
“Academically, people in CLA are very important, but they are paid less,” he said. “It’s a kind of inversion of values.”
— Staff Reporter Intern Kristin Gustafson contributed to this report