Don’t Criticize Me, You’re Making Me Uncomfortable, I’ll Sue You.

Here‘s an interesting story: an undergraduate at Bulter University blogged about administration and their (according to him, evil) ways, and is now being sued by the University for defamation and making people feel unsafe because he was mean to them.  If you read the whole article, you get a sense that there was really nothing libelous or defamatory in his comments, but that university has an army of attorneys on its payroll and they wanted to punish the kid (who blogged anonymously, but since revealed his real name) and his parents (both of whom happen to be faculty at Butler). Continue reading


Golden Pillow: Trauma of Returning to Teaching

UPDATE: Chuck points out this take on the situation – my favorite passage:

“Could I have done it without a research leave?” [Chancellor] Moeser said. “Sure. But I would not have been approaching the fall with the same excitement and anticipation as I am.”

This is strangely short story from InsideHigherEd without much explanation, just facts:

The University of North Carolina paid $8 million over the last five years in “retreat rights,” salaries to help former administrators prepare to return to the classroomThe Raleigh News & Observer reported. In many cases, the salaries were what the officials earned in senior positions, far more than the faculty jobs for which they were preparing. The article noted that while some of these officials were well respected, others were paid “for a job poorly done,” and that there is no requirement that those receiving the funds actually return to teaching. The article noted that one former provost in the system was paid $104,000 to prepare for a return to teaching, but after taking the funds, retired.

Interestingly enough, UNC The Raleigh News and Observer has a longer version of the story: Continue reading

Mid-Level College Workers Pay Increases, Someone is Losing…

In this week’s online edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education there are some rather telling stats in an article reporting on an annual salary survey under the headline “Median Pay Increase for Colleges’ Mid-level Workers Beats Inflation.”

Midlevel administrators at colleges and universities received a median salary increase of 3.9 percent for the 2007-8 academic year, exceeding the rate of inflation, according to an annual survey released last week by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. The increase is slightly greater than that of the 2006-7 academic year, at 3.8 percent. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the Consumer Price Index for urban consumers rose 2.8 percent in the past fiscal year.

Midlevel workers at public institutions saw a 4-percent gain, compared with a 3.7-percent increase for their counterparts at private institutions. That difference was consistent with last year’s figures (4 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively). The survey comprised 1,125 institutions, and the numbers reflect 206 jobs, including those of accountants, doctors, lawyers, and security guards. Like last year, the highest-paid midlevel administrators were staff doctors, with a median salary of $122,648. Staff lawyers and veterinarians were the next highest-paid. The lowest-paid midlevel employees were security guards, at $26,355.

By institutional category, workers at master’s-degree institutions and two-year colleges saw the greatest median salary increases, at 4 percent — slightly higher than the gains at doctoral institutions (3.9 percent) and bachelor’s-degree institutions (3.8 percent). Median pay increases at specialized institutions were slightly lower than in 2006, at 3.5 percent.

There is also a chart by salary/job title/institution type available here. I wonder how these operations were able to accomplish such an increase…could it be the rise in contingent faculty? Of course not, that couldn’t be right. I’m far too naive to even think that.