Archive for Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Heard on the Hill: Data reveal where KU’s faculty salaries rank as compared to other schools; World War II historian, former BBC Television history leader to deliver upcoming Hall Center lecture

September 14, 2011


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• A Heard on the Hill commenter yesterday mentioned a bit of difficulty in tracking down information on faculty salaries at Big 12 institutions.

Ask, noble commenter, and ye shall receive. I pulled together this information using data compiled by the American Association of University Professors (medical school salaries, by the way, are excluded from these tabulations).

If you rank the 10 Big 12 schools based on associate professors’ salaries (including Texas A&M;, who I’m still counting as long as they’re on the athletic schedule), KU’s average of about $79,400 ranks right in the middle at No. 5.

Kansas State, as the astute commenter pointed out, is dead last with an average of $72,100.

Interestingly though, KU was third overall in the conference in average salaries for full professors, with an average of $117,700. That’s behind Texas ($136,600) and Texas A&M; ($118,900).

• I do realize that athletic conferences, while historically a somewhat meaningful way of grouping universities (at least geographically), is becoming even less meaningful as the conference realignment tectonic plates continue to shift.

So I figured it would also be interesting to look to see how KU compares with the universities it tied with in the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings — namely, the University of Tennessee, the University of the Pacific, the University of Oregon, the University of Oklahoma, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Dayton, Florida State University and North Carolina State University.

Among that group of 10 universities, KU’s salaries for associate professors ranks fourth overall. New Hampshire leads the pack with an average salary of $89,500, and Florida State is last with an average salary of $73,700.

KU’s average salary for full professors, however, ranks as No. 1 among that group of universities.

• The Hall Center for the Humanities is beginning its annual lecture series with a presentation from Laurence Rees, the former chief of BBC Television’s history programs.

Rees, a World War II historian, will present “Talking with Nazis” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 at Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union.

He will feature extracts from his television series “The Nazis: A Warning from History,” featuring interviews with former Nazis, including those who worked for Adolf Hitler and those who committed war crimes on his behalf.

Rees has written several books, including “Auschwitz” and “World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West.”

The lecture is the first in the Hall Center’s Humanities Lecture Series, which usually attracts some high-quality speakers.

Here’s this year’s complete lineup.

• Fill up the Heard on the Hill email tip jar by letting me know what’s going on at


sk_in_ks 6 years, 5 months ago

Sounds like maybe KU's population of professors skews older (and therefore contains more highly paid full professors) than the others. Any way to check those demographics?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 5 months ago

It'd also be interesting to know how much of the teaching load at these universities is carried by much more lowly paid GTA's rather than associate and full professors. Does KU have fewer professors per credit hours taught than its peer institutions?

billbodiggens 6 years, 5 months ago

The data means little or nothing unless we also know what the cost of living is in each university city. I think, perhaps, the cost of living in Lawrence, as high as it is, is much less than that in Austin or some of the other Big Twelve cities.

Sigmund 6 years, 5 months ago

“The Nazis: A Warning from History,” featuring interviews with former Nazis, including those who worked for Adolf Hitler and those who committed war crimes on his behalf."

I got this from Nexflix, gave it 5 stars. Nobody does this kind of programming better than the BBC and "Warning From History" is superb. Unfortunately not available for streaming.

Dave Trabert 6 years, 5 months ago

Average salary studies often don't include all forms of pay, which is often much higher than just base salary. Not sure about this particular study but total pay (excluding benefits) for university and all other state employees is available at

We (Kansas Policy Institute) collected the information from the State of Kansas as noted on the site. The data can be sorted by employer and position; it can also be downloaded to Excel if you want to calculate your own averages by position.

chootspa 6 years, 5 months ago

Introducing Dave Trabert of the Koch funded Kansas Policy Institute, which is a libertarian "think tank" dedicated toward furthering the tea party agenda. He's also with ALEC. (yes, that ALEC )

He does not live in Lawrence, but he'll be in the neighborhood (Overland Park) tomorrow when he launches his latest astroturf agenda towards privatizing our education system by handing control to corporations and other non government entities. He'll frame this as "choice."

He'll be quick to point out that the database driving the website he's pasting does in fact come from government sources, but he's reticent to admit that his extreme bias drives the framing of the facts and timing of disclosure. It's really a pity, because I'd love a true independent and nonpartisan watchdog organization for Kansas government affairs, but Dave Trabert and his extremist organization are nothing but propaganda machines for the Koch agenda.

Dave Trabert 6 years, 5 months ago

The event she's referencing is the Why Not Kansas Education Summit. Details available at The event is open to the public. Education experts including the former Commissioner of Education for the State of Florida and the current State Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Indiana are on the agenda.

FYI, school choice is about empowering parents.

chootspa 6 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for spamming a link to your propaganda summit. I know it's a top priority for Koch and ALEC to enact this model legislation ASAP. Florida and Indiana are obvious choices, where coincidentally partisan ALEC-backed moves towards charter programs have been enacted. Florida, which boasts lower test scores than Kansas but statistically improbable leaps among certain key demographics which I'm sure are not at all indicative of either selection bias or test tampering (hey, they were cleared by the investigation team, just like Rhee's schools were initially). Yet they still lag behind Kansas scores. Indiana, where the "education expert" in question gets a direct personal financial benefit for pushing for more charters and where they have "more but not necessarily better charters"

FYI "school choice" is a code word for privatizing schools. It does not empower parents. It does not improve outcomes, especially not among the middle class parents towards whom this strategy is marketed. It gives parents the illusion of choice in exchange for decreased enrollment diversity and long term damage to the education infrastructure. It cedes control over the education system to corporations (which is why ALEC is so gung ho about the idea.) It preys on parents of special needs children by encouraging them to enroll in segregated schools.

We've already had choice all along, Dave. Welcome to the free market. If I want a free market school, I can pay for it, and at times I have. I don't like riding the bus, but I don't expect taxpayer funded vouchers to buy a BMW. In addition to that, our local school board already has the authority to control charter schools, which we already do. Hello, Lawrence Virtual School. Taking that authority away from local authorities gives parents LESS of a voice in how their children are educated, not more.

You're not in favor of empowering parents at all. You're in favor of empowering corporations and taking control away from locally elected school boards. Parents who want control of their children's education would be wise to oppose any and all of your ALEC model legislation on this.

Dave Trabert 6 years, 5 months ago

You are entitled to your opinion and much of what you've posted here is simply your opinion, not fact. Anyone interested in the facts is welcome to attend our public forum in Overland Park tomorrow.

We would also be happy to help provide an open, public forum on these and other issues in Lawrence. These are complicated and very important issues that should be discussed openly and civilly in public so everyone can make their own informed decisions.

chootspa 6 years, 5 months ago

I've got the facts. You've got the spin. You'll be at work tomorrow, and so will I. I've already seen your presentation on YouTube. I thank you for joining me on this open and pubic forum where you don't control the podium or charge for admission, unlike your party tomorrow where the main course is astroturf tea.

Like I said, I've seen your spiel. I doubt you've decided to present any fewer ad hoc ergo propter hoc arguments tomorrow. For instance, you'll show selective slides about Florida charters and gains in very small subsections but neglect to mention that half of the Florida schools graded "F" this year were charters. You'll also forget that charter elementary and middle schools in Florida had a failure rate 740 percent higher on the FCAT than public schools. You may neglect to mention the shamefully high failure rate of charters in Indiana. If you do, you'll cite it as a win because "charter schools can be closed." I guess it's ok to fail more often than you succeed as long as you cede control of your children's education to corporate interest, right?

These are important and complicated issues, which is why I resent you and your role in a well-financed and coordinated campaign to buy my government and influence policy with an extremist agenda. You seem to think you stand for "open" government, but once you cede control over public education to private entities, that openness goes away. You "open" yourself up to fraud and corruption. In fact, in many ways you incentivize it, just as high stakes testing incentivizes cheating.

I'm all for new and innovative solutions to aid our competitiveness globally, but sorry, charters don't have it.

"The only major national evaluation of charter schools was carried out by Stanford economist Margaret Raymond and funded by pro-charter foundations. Her group found that compared to with regular public schools, 17 percent of charters got higher test scores, 46 percent had gains that were no different than their public counterparts, and 37 percent were significantly worse."

Yes, I know you've got "new" evidence, but I highly doubt it was conducted by a group without a vested interest in furthering a pro charter agenda.

I look forward to the future lawsuits after Brownback unwisely passes the model legislation from ALEC. Facts don't persuade him, and I can't help but think that all you want is a larger audience to publicize how much he "listened" before passing whatever you hand him.

chootspa 6 years, 5 months ago

I should clarify that the propter hoc argument is attributing the gains to the charter students without adequately removing all variables. A difficult task, especially when you've got selection bias, socioeconomic status, and parental education level competing.

chootspa 6 years, 5 months ago

PS, anyone interested in the six degrees of separation from this agenda and the Kochs:

"WhyNotKansas" is an astrotuf website sponsored by Koch/AFP-funded KPI (Dave Trabert, also of ALEC) and the "Foundation for Educational Choice" based out of Indiana and assisted in its efforts by Jeff Reed, a former Koch Associate from the Charles Koch Institute. He was (is?) also on the ALEC education task force.

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