Nice work if you can get it: productivity low for CU-Boulder professors

By Michael Selzer│Complete Colorado

Higher education in America faces a slew of serious problems. Discussions in blogs and journals and at academic conventions show that professors around the country are well aware of these problems and find them deeply troubling.

One problem however is never discussed, for the good reason that it is the academic world’s most inconvenient truth. Widely known but almost never acknowledged (at least publicly), the issue of academic productivity lies at the heart of almost every major issue our colleges and universities now face. Data culled from the University of Colorado-Boulder’s official websites show how very serious this problem really is.

The average salary of a Boulder professor is $103,513, about $125,000 with benefits. In reality, even these figures understate the matter. Forty-two percent of the faculty are full professors—an army with lots of generals! —and their annual compensation averages about $150,000.

One supposes the professors work hard to earn such generous pay, but the facts strongly suggest otherwise. Teaching in class and being available to students for office hours together take up less than five hours of the average Boulder professor’s week during the academic year. In all, the typical professor is in contact with students for 150 hours a year.

Yet in the past academic year, nearly a full third of the professors did not teach at all.

at Complete Colorado.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

Top