Thursday, March 15, 2007

More on Wisconsin higher education

A regular reader of this blog* writes to me:
I'm disappointed that a whole 24 hours have gone by since the Wisconsin State Journal reported a Republican's outrage that community college profs (a) actually get paid and (b) can make overtime.
Yes, it's true. They in fact are earning more than many faculty in the University of Wisconsin system, averaging $74,598 for full-time faculty, a solid full professor's salary in many departments in Madison. See the stories here and here. But check the key quote:
This audit is telling us that we've gotten out of control with our benefits and our salaries in the technical college system," said Rep. Suzanne Jeskewitz, a Menomonee Falls Republican who co-chairs the Legislature's audit committee. "I would hope the public will get very angry about this.
Jeskewitz is trying to stir up outrage over a misrepresentation, basically: I'm pretty sure that the MATC faculty I know could all easily earn more money in private industry, and mostly working shorter hours. That's emphatically true of UW – Madison faculty, where even in the arts and humanities a lot of people are bringing in far more than their salaries each year in outside funding. (Keep in mind that something like 18% of Madison's money is from the state and the rest of grants, gifts, patents, and tuition.) Higher education is in a very precarious position right now and the leaders of our institutions need to step up and forcefully lay out the facts.

I guess we're truly not in this for the money. To my friends at MATC, thanks for taking the heat off us for a few minutes. And next time we go out for a beer, you're buying.

* Unlike the Onion (motto: Tu stultus est), we do not discourage any and all correspondence from readers.


Anonymous said...

Googling the esteemed caretaker of the WI Technical Colleges we find here that "Jeskewitz, who was named co-chair of the task force when Assembly Speaker John Gard (R-Peshtigo) created it in 2003, said she would like to see the Task Force continue because it serves as a “watch dog” over the technical colleges.'

Just what higher ed in WI needs is continual 'Garding'.

The Ridger, FCD said...

Since when is $74,000 an "out of control" salary for a professor anywhere?

Don't get me wrong, it's not poverty level, but how is it so outrageous?

Mr. Verb said...

Maybe when you trying to destroy public higher education in your state?

We like to recall the Wisconsin tradition of Carl Schurz, Fightin' Bob Lafollette, Eugene Debs, but we never forget that Joe McCarthy (he of 'Democrat party') was from here.