Too much bling for profs?
Do professors get paid too much?
The annual list of salaries documenting professors (and other
employed individuals) who earn upwards of $100,000 per year
was released on Monday, making this question a hot topic.
Some students may wonder whether or not professors are actually
earning their salaries. While there are undeniably some great,
enthusiastic professors out there, there are also a number
of apathetic, ineffective individuals who seem to care little
about student progress. Yet the difference in salary between
the best and worst does little to compensate for this.
There are a number of issues to consider when attempting to
determine whether or not professors should be exceeding the
hundred thousand salary mark.
For starters, higher-paying jobs are more likely to attract
high-quality professors. After all, why would a qualified prof
take a job for $50,000 at Western if the University of Toronto
offered $100,000? It simply wouldn’t make sense.
In addition, research is a huge factor with regard to professors’ salaries.
Aside from teaching duties, professors are expected to work
on many additional tasks, such as conducting research, writing
books and publishing academic articles.
At the same time, however, professors’ primary responsibility
and accountability should be to the students — shouldn’t
it? Students fork out thousands of dollars each year in tuition
to help pay professors’ salaries, yet it seems as though
student feedback does little to determine how much professors
are getting paid.
The only real avenue for mass student feedback consists of
course evaluations that are completed near the end of each
term, which allow students a chance to rate their professors
and overall course experience.
The results of these evaluations are posted online, and in
theory professors should be concerned with how they are perceived
by students. However, considering the fact that only 40 per
cent of a professor’s job is devoted to teaching — the
other 40 is allotted to research, with 20 per cent left over
for administrative details — how much do these evaluations
really phase professors?
When it comes down to it, professors should be here for the
students. Research is important, but ensuring students receive
the best education possible should warrant the same amount
Though it may be unrealistic, it would be nice to see salaries
more closely tied to student feedback. To oversimplify, bad
professors should not make as much as good ones.
As long as checks and balances are implemented to ensure professors
do not dish out “A”s just to get better evaluations,
a system that ties promotions and bonuses to better teaching
capabilities — as opposed to only research — could