Day: September 21, 2022

This Is How You Lose the Time War a Faculty Member

As it often happens, a few things occur simultaneously and all lead to the same place. For me, that place has been the database of salaries for my university system. One of the things that nudged me to go there was this post by the Grumpies (congrats on the promotion and associated raise to 1/2 of nicoleandmaggie!). 

On the one hand, I am objectively (as in, compared to other humans who all need to eat, have shelter, raise kids, etc.) very well paid. I really can’t complain to nonacademic civilians. On the other hand, I appear not to be well paid at all compared to my department peers. There’s always been some salary inversion, in that the salaries of assistant professors tend to rise over time at a higher rate than the salaries of tenured faculty, because hiring is most competitive at the assistant-professor level. I’ve been aware of this phenomenon since I became faculty. However, it is fucking insane that a couple of people who are a  decade behind me in seniority now make as much as me, especially because I am not and have never been a professional slouch (all my blog whinging notwithstanding). The highest paid person, who’s about a decade ahead of me, is paid twice what I am. He’s a veritable superstar, so perhaps that makes sense. The rest, however, does not. 

I have a larger group and publish and raise funds at a rate higher than my disciplinary peers pretty much anywhere, and I am on par with any similarly sized experimental group in my college. Plus, I’ve been doing more than my share of teaching for years now, and doing a smashing job by all accounts, yet that clearly doesn’t seem to matter. Had I been projecting on screen directly from the damn textbook, as I know for a fact one of my contemporaries still does, apparently it would not have mattered. 

And this, blogosphere, is how you lose a faculty member. I am not a person who likes to waste time,  either my own or other people’s, so I didn’t want to engage in sending out feelers to see who might be willing to hire me elsewhere, because I didn’t want to be interviewing, getting offers, having counteroffers, the whole dance involving a dozen people just so I’d get proper compensation at my institution. Only it looks like I need to really make peace with moving, despite how sucky that might be for the family, because I am clearly being taken for granted here. 

I actually thought the department was doing a good job preemptively making faculty happy. Only I’m apparently much easier to make happy than others, because far more money seems to have been invested in the happiness of pretty much every other full professor in the department. 

I am so fucking angry right now. 

I need to gather my toys and take them elsewhere. 

(By the way, This Is How You Lose the Time War is a sci-fi novella.)