Monday, December 11, 2006

I Make As Much As A Sac State Professor?

Granted, I've been teaching for 10 years, but they have masters degrees (at a minimum) and I do not.

Raghuraman Trichur arrived at California State University, Sacramento, in 2002 to teach anthropology courses. The pay was modest -- in fact, low for a major university -- $46,000 for an entry-level professor...

No one has been pinched more than new faculty members like Trichur, who are making around $50,000.

There's strike talk, of course.

12 comments:

Eric Warburg said...

So, you're selling the Kia, you have a hot tub, and you make as much as a college professor...

Does that mean you aren't poor anymore?

Anonymous said...

Wow. That's ridicously low. IMO, they should strike.

Darren said...

Eric, no one likes a smart aleck. =)

Eric Warburg said...

I've never learned to keep my mouth shut. Ask anyone.

Darren said...

It's OK, Eric. You're in good company. Just ask any of *my* peers =)

Anonymous said...

You could tripple your money if you are interested in going to Iraq.

There are a lot of openings there.

Anonymous said...

From what I have seen, classroom teachers spend a great deal more time actually working with students than most college professors. Granted, they are required to jump through the hoops of research and "publish or perish", but I have yet to see a full professor that teacher more than two classes or has more than three office hour slots. And most of them have TA's to do grading and sometimes lecturing and labs. I would love to have someone take over those tasks and simply expound on art, make the assignment and have some young thing handle the day to day taskwork.

Anonymous said...

What degree do you have?

Darren said...

I have a B.S. degree in Applied Math, and 40+ units of education b.s. beyond that.

Note, one B.S. is capitalized, the other isn't!

rightwingprof said...

Tenured faculty teaching loads are usually 4 or 5 courses per year. And state universities are legally required to make all salaries available to the public, though most hide them quite effectively. One of the professors on my PhD committee just retired after over thirty years, and was making a lot less than you might think.

John S. said...

The work college professors do compared to the work K-12 teachers do is like comparing, in my opinion, apples to oranges. The main reason, I think, is the difference in the target audience. Essentially, though it can certainly vary, teachers in K-12 have pupils while professors have students. If Johnny gets a poor grade in English, cannot divide, or has trouble understanding the difference between electrons and protons, the teacher is partly held responsible along with the pupil, parents, and the town wino (precisely why I am humbled by the job our teachers do—thank you!). Yet, a student at a college or university only has herself to blame or praise for her performance. The professor, or anyone else, is not held responsible if Johnny gets a bad grade—for the most part, certainly, we can cite some examples to the contrary, but I am “essentializing” here. Lastly, Ellen’s statements certainly seem true. I think, however, she may underestimate the burdensome weight of research and publishing. Likewise, TAs and graders are the exception rather than the rule and TAs and Graders receive payment so they can afford to go to college. In addition, the professor often mentors the TA and passes along valuable tools and skills. Still, the pressure to publish and research is the part of the profession in which seems the most troublesome. Again, I would refer people to Max Weber’s “Science as a Vocation,” (I cut the web address in half to fit it here):
http://www.ne.jp/asahi/moriyuki
/abukuma/weber/lecture/science_frame.html

The notion a professor can equally perform the task of research and teaching is an ideal type. Many do though. Yet, many more do not. A great researcher is not necessarily a great teacher and vice versa. The university needs both—so does the student. No easy answer exists. I personally feel the K-12 teacher carries the more burdensome responsibility and deserves higher pay than they receive. The college professor, however, deserves no less because they also perform a valuable service in our society by providing the higher education our great minds of the future need. Essentially, education at every level is underpaid. Still, when I meet first or second year college students who can barley read and have no understanding of what a passive argument is (my favorite :-)) and then I watch many of them graduate with the same skills, I wonder how long before our society really begins to question why they are funding the universities or secondary education systems. Indeed, many already do! Perhaps, they have a legitimate argument.

rightwingprof said...

"The work college professors do compared to the work K-12 teachers do is like comparing, in my opinion, apples to oranges."

Indeed. We do, you know, sit in our offices -- that's why they call them office hours -- and wait for students to come ask for help. Sadly, except for right before a major assignment or an exam, few come. And another difference is that primary and secondary teachers have their curriculum handed to them; we, on the other hand, must create our course content, find and choose our materials or create them, and write all the assignments and exams.

The idea that university faculty sit on their lazy asses and do nothing is as ridiculous as the idea that high school teachers sit on their lazy asses and do nothing.