Money, It's What I Want

I'm not actually a selfish person, but I'd be lying if I said I thought I was taking home what I thought I was worth. I'm not asking to be wealthy, to rock six-figures or anything like that (though I wouldn't object), but it would be nice to be able to afford, oh, a car made this century, or perhaps to be out of economic hardship deferral on my student loans for some reason other than that the clock is running out.

But my bosses both in the state legislature and at Our Fair University have other priorities. The state is concerned with, well, who knows what. It's controlled by those people who think that taxes are by definition evil, and that public education is communist--or at least it feels that way most of the time.

As for Our Fair University, well, this is from a study conducted by the FIU Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy, using public records. I'll be glad to forward the study on to anyone who wants it.

The diversion of resources to the administrative function is due to both an increase in the numbers of administrators compared to faculty, and to administrators receiving larger wage increases than faculty. Simple percentages show the shifts. Regarding numbers of different categories of employees, in 2001-02, there were 39% as many administrators as there were faculty (244/625 = 39%). By 2008-09, there were almost 45% as many (393/877 = 44.8%). This is a result of faster administrative employees being added at faster rate than the rate of growth of any other type of employee. In the 2001-02 to 2008-09 period, FAU added administrative
employees at almost three times the rate it added instructional staff, and at almost twice the rate of employee growth as a whole. Table 2 shows the details.

The shift in relative salaries is even more evident: in 2001-02 administrative salaries were a little more than 46% of faculty salaries. By 2008-09 this percentage had grown to almost 58%.
I'd include the tables, but I don't know how to format them for Blogger. Like I said, if you want a copy, send an email to incertusblog-at-gmail-dot-com and I'll get it to you.

One thing the tables show even more than the percentages is how this has gotten worse in just the last two years. Since 2006, total instructional faculty has grown by 11 people, and the 2008 number is actually a pullback from 2007, whereas in the same time frame, total administration has grown by 119 positions. Meanwhile, as far as salaries are concerned, "In 2001-02, the average administrative salary was 119% of the average faculty salary; by 2008-09 this ratio had grown to 129%." In short, there's more of them and they're getting paid more even in difficult budgetary times.

Meanwhile, I'm at the low end of the faculty pay scale, haven't gotten a raise, not even for cost of living much less the merit raises I'm due because I'm good at my job, in two years, and will see my workload increase this fall due to budget cutbacks that will increase my class sizes. And yet that's not the really crappy thing about all this.

The crappy thing about all this is that I'm really glad to have this job, not only because I like what I do, but because it's better than the jobs some of my friends have, or more accurately, don't have right now. I'm a little afraid to get outraged about the unfairness here, because in this economy I could just as easily find myself out there competing with twenty-somethings to be the assistant night-manager at Taco Bell or folding sweaters at The Gap. I don't like feeling powerless--no one does--and this kind of economy does that to you, unless you have some sort of security. And that's in very short supply right now.

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