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March 04, 1983 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-03-04
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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budget cuts have become commonplace
topic at department meetings. "It's a
possibility that the worst times have
just come earlier at Michigan," he
says.
F OR THOSE disciplines that are
losing faculty members, private
industry is a greater nemesis than
competing schools.
"We may not be losing faculty to
other universities," says College of
Pharmacy Dean Ara Paul, "but we
may be losing them to the private sec-
tor." Salaries in the pharmaceutical
industry can sometimes double a
professor's earnings.
In the last 20 years, the industry has
shifted its emphasis toward
professional development and
publishing, says Paul. "I think the
brightest young minds aren't going into
academic fields. Higher education in
the last decade has not enjoyed the kind
of funding to compensate people the
way we should."
Other deans and department chair-
men in the most marketable disciplines
note similar trends:
" Computer Science Chairman
Gideon Frieder says teaching loads
make it hard to attract top Ph.Ds. For
example, there are currently some 400-
level courses in which professors are
teaching 120 students;
" Business School Dean Gilbert
Whitaker says faculty salaries have not
grown at the same rate as wages in in-
dustry. Someone going into the private
sector with a master's degree in
business would make after one year
what a Ph.D at a university would
make after four years, he says;
" Engineering Dean. Duderstadt
estimates that someone with a
bachelor's degree in engineering can
make $30,000 a year right out of college,
leaving little incentive for students to
continue in academia. In addition, high
technology industries are reaching into
academia to buy out the faculty, he
says;
" In chemistry, the choice whether or
not to go into industry is made at the en-
try level. Department Chairman
Thomas Dunn says he knew of one
recent Ph.D who was offered a $39,500
starting salary from Polaroid. The
student's professor, on the other hand,
was making $22,500.
For academic institutions, the
University of Michigan has stayed very
competitive in terms of salaries.
Among public schools, only the Univer-
sity of California at Berkeley has
significantly higher salary levels, ac-
cording to a faculty report. But the dif-
ference may be negligible due to the
higher cost of living in that area.
Compared to top private institutions,
however, the University rates less well
on the salary scale, especially for
assistant and associate professors.
During the 1981-82 academic year, for
example, the average salary for a

,:::

James Duder stadt: Worried about losing faculty

senior University of Michigan professor
was about $39,800. At Berkeley, the
figure was almost $43,000, and at Har-
vard, full professors earned an average
of $48,500, according to figures com-
piled by the American Association of
University Professors.
EVEN MORE troubling than the
salary issue is the University of
Michigan's image problem. Outsiders
visions a school in a troubled northern
industrial state may hurt more than the
reality of dollars and cents.
When trying to recruit faculty mem-
bers, Computer Science Chairman
Frieder says that image is precisely the
problem. "I call and say 'Michigan'
and people say, 'Are you sure you will
be there next year?' They are afraid
that the state will cut the University
completely."
LSA Dean Peter Steiner estimates
that his college will be hiring about 45
people this year, including eight to 10
tenured professors. "We've plainly
gotten a lot of unfortunate publicity,"
he says. "We are basically winning the
battle. You'd like to have 100 percent
success, but you never do."
Things are tough all over higher
education. Unless state governments
decide to boost their financial support,

faculty will lose out all over the coun-.
try.
If industry continues to outbid
academic institutions, the field may
never recover, says Illinois Law Prof.
Victor Stone, naitonal president of the
American Association of University
Professors. "We're losing half a
generation if not a whole generation of
renewable faculty. When it's time to
replenish the ranks in years to come,
the supply won't be there."
And once they're gone, Stone says,
it's highly improbable they'll return to

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