To the editor:
The Jan. 26 Journal-World article concerning Michael Gaines leaving Kansas University reinforces false conceptions about faculty salaries. Most faculty in our department make approximately half the salary that was attributed to Dr. Gaines. (The article stated that Dr. Gaines' salary was $67,226.)
My concern is that after reading an article about a KU professor making $67,000 a year, the public believes we all make salaries in that range. I've seen other articles that stated that the average faculty salary at KU was around $46,000. This, too, is misleading. The $46,000 that is usually quoted includes salaries of KU administrators combined with the salaries of faculty. When these two are combined, the average is far greater than we faculty actually receive.
We have faculty in our department who have earned doctoral degrees from major universities, they have from 20 to 30 years experience, they have won awards for teaching and scholarship, and their salaries are still in the mid-30s. This amount is considerably less than the salary quoted in the Jan. 26 edition of the Journal-World.
In the last decade, we faculty have never received a pay increase equal to the cost of living in any particular year. Every person in our department who has been at KU for the past 10 years, is worse off today than we were in 1980.
My point is that faculty salaries at KU are far less than the general public would believe, that newspaper quotes of faculty salaries are misleading because they average our salaries with salaries of well-paid administrators, and that very few faculty make a salary of $67,000.
In my own case, if it were not for my wife's business, I could not afford to teach at KU.
Phillip G. Huntsinger,
KU associate professor
of health, physical
education and recreation