By any measure,

Amy Olson

A report released this week by the Chronicle of Higher Education ranks Minnesota sixth in compensation for full professors at state colleges and universities.
But the ranking does not tell the whole story. In spite of salary increases during the last three years, faculty members and administrators say University salaries aren’t up to par.
University administrators also point out that the salaries used in the study are statewide averages and do not compare individual universities.
Furthermore, it is difficult to make comparisons between schools in the same system, such as the University’s Twin Cities, Morris or Crookston campuses, said Bob Bruininks, executive vice president and provost at the University.
Instead, administrators point to figures from the National Research Council, which ranks compensation rates at the top 30 research institutes in the country.
In that ranking, the University’s Twin Cities campus is ranked 20th overall. The University is ranked 25th in average full professors’ salaries.
The University has made strides to increase faculty salaries during the past three years, said Craig Swan, vice provost for undergraduate education. University President Mark Yudof included $95.9 million for faculty compensation in the 1999-2000 budget request.
Gov. Jesse Ventura included $70 million for faculty compensation in his budget recommendation, with an additional $20 million to finance the hiring of 100 new faculty members to teach undergraduate students.
The University is not alone in its compensation woes. Morris Anderson, chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, included $80 million for cost of living and competitive salary increases in his annual budget request. Ventura recommended $77 million for compensation in his budget, said Phil Lewenstein, communications director for the Minnesota Higher Education Services Office.
Bruininks said administrators feel the financial strain of trying to lure professors to the University with strong competition from higher paying universities.
The situation also makes it more difficult to keep current faculty members. In one department last year, seven professors were recruited with more lucrative offers from other institutions, Bruininks said.
That group of top schools includes private institutions like Harvard and Stanford universities, which have the highest financial resources in the country, Bruininks said. Even so, the University trails behind other comparable public schools like the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina and the University of Texas, Swan said.
Legislators began discussing the requests on Wednesday, but Swan said he does not expect the Legislature to approve them until the end of the session.