Salaries for Kansas University librarians that rank in the bottom one-fourth among North American research libraries make it challenging to fill campus jobs.
Marilu Goodyear, who becomes KU vice chancellor for information services on July 1, said the $41,558 average salary paid KU library faculty was 93rd among 110 U.S. and Canadian institutions in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).
The latest ARL salary survey indicated the median library faculty wage at association schools was $44,534 in 1998. The high was $62,007 at University of California-Irvine, with a low of $34,398 at Texas Tech.
The faculty wage disparity reflects a general problem at KU of paying competitive salaries to information science employees, Goodyear said.
"We can't get the work done if we can't fill these positions. It's critical," she said.
Goodyear said there had been a series of failed searches to fill library faculty positions in recent years.
Salaries of KU faculty ranked eighth among the 10 Big 12 Conference schools in the 1998 survey. The top paying conference school was Iowa State at $46,660.
KU wages trailed averages at Big 12 schools in Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska and Colorado. But none of the universities in those states ranked higher than 75th nationally.
Goodyear, who will have operational authority over KU libraries, said improved salary funding from the 1999 Legislature might provide temporary relief.
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