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Profs’ pay below average


Average salaries for University of Hawaii and Chaminade professors are well below those of other higher-education institutions, according to a survey of salaries released last week by the American Association of University Professors.

The average annual salary for professors at the University of Hawaii at Manoa was about $109,700 for 2010-2011. That puts UH just below the 40th percentile, meaning 60 percent of other doctoral institutions’ averages were higher.

The average salary for full professors at U.S. doctoral institutions was $173,615, according to the study. The average salary for associate professors at universities that grant doctorates was $114,043. The Manoa campus is the only Hawaii institution listed as a doctoral institution.

"These figures from the AAUP Faculty Salary Report actually reinforce what our UH faculty have been trying to communicate for a long time — that they are not compensated at the same or even close to the same rate as their peers in other universities, both public and private," said Linda Johnsrud, UH executive vice president of academic affairs and provost.

The average for the Manoa campus dropped by about 5.6 percent from the previous year, 2009-2010, when it was $116,200.

"When you factor in the cost of living in Hawaii, the disparity is even more pronounced," Johnsrud said. "These statistics emphasize how important competitive salaries are to recruiting and retaining the best and brightest faculty at UH. This is a strong reminder to us that even though public funds are shrinking, the investment we make in educating the next generation of leaders in Hawaii is critical to our future health as a state."

Last year, members of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly union ratified a contract that cut their pay by 6.7 percent through this July, but the money is expected to be returned over the course of the six-year agreement.

At Chaminade University, the average professor salary was about $72,800, slightly above the 40th percentile for baccalaureate institutions.

Chaminade’s Board of Regents adopted a three-year plan Friday night that budgets annual increases for both faculty and staff salaries.

Larry Osborne, Chaminade University provost, said the university avoided layoffs during the recent recession by tightening its budget.

"Now because of positive enrollment growth and increased grant funding, as well as careful attention to the budget, we are able to address salary issues and have developed a multiyear plan to increase faculty salaries," Osborne said.

Starting in August, faculty can expect increases from 5.9 percent to 16.6 percent, he said.

At Hawaii Pacific University, the average annual professor salary was $92,200, just slightly below the 80th percentile of baccalaureate institutions. HPU officials were not available for comment Friday.

In 1988, then-UH President Albert Simone stated that one of the system’s goals would be to achieve the 80th percentile of national faculty salaries, said J.N. Musto, executive director of the UH faculty union.

"I am convinced that without collective bargaining, the faculty salaries at the University of Hawaii would be in even less of a competitive state than they are today," Musto said.

He said Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s understanding of higher-education, because he is a former a professor, will be critical for the university’s funding.

"As the institution must rely more and more on external funding, the public nature of our university and its service to the public is being compromised," Musto said. "I fully understand that we must choose how much public higher-education the state can afford, and what the Legislature is willing to contribute towards that end."


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