A post at Tenured Radical yesterday brought up the issue of increasing faculty responsibilities and decreasing salaries (in constant, and sometimes absolute, dollars). The comments on yesterday’s post are particularly interesting given the wide range of salaries at various institution types. This is something that most people are aware of in the abstract but is still sobering when contextualized. A post today continues this discussion and responds to Historiann’s discussion of TR’s changing opinion on salary freezes over the past few years (thankfully, academics are able to change their minds based on new information, unlike politicians).
The issues of salary and workloads are connected to current discussions of work-life balance. At one such discussion on my own campus at which the administration reiterated its support for the health and well-being of the faculty one brave soul brought up the fact that despite these messages, the only way for faculty members to increase their salaries is to increase their workload. He then asked whether the administration had ever considered rewarding faculty for leading balanced lives rather than simply working more. The answer, unsurprisingly, was no.
Faculty members, then, appear to be faced with a choice between working less for less money or working more for less money.