Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Tying Pay to Excellence


Faculty compensation is not the root cause of spiraling operating expenses on campuses, said one presenter at a meeting this week of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. He based his conclusions on a study by the University of Delaware study titled National Study of Instructional Costs and Productivity, which identified the volume of faculty teaching, the department size, and the tenure rate among faculty members as the fundamental factors that determine total instructional costs.

Whereas it is admirable and necessary to try to better measure faculty productivity, such exercises often neglect to address the quality of both faculty teaching and research–the evaluation of which is often neither rigorous enough nor adequately performance-based; whether some tenured faculty doing mediocre research could teach more and thus cut down the need for large numbers of teaching adjuncts; the need to provide incentive to professors in the form of merit pay; and the relative ever-burgeoning numbers and cost of campus administrators.


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