NR Digital

Education: 2010: A Window for the Ivory Tower

by Robert VerBruggen
At state universities, faculty compensation should be more transparent

Are faculty members at state colleges paid too much? As states sort out their budget crises and students face ever-higher tuition bills, that question will become increasingly important in the coming years. After all, states spend about 9 percent of their budgets on higher education, and public colleges direct more than a third of their expenditures to professor compensation (and another tenth to administrator compensation).

But in many states, it’s hard for the public to find the answer. As the University of New Mexico’s independent Daily Lobo newspaper noted earlier this year:

The UNM salary book is only available in Zimmerman Library for two hours. The book is about two inches thick and lists each UNM employee in alphabetical order. No electronic copy of the book exists, so students, staff, faculty and community members interested in learning how tax dollars are being spent must sign up in Zimmerman and make sure to return the document in two hours.