Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Better pay needed

October 13, 2017


To the editor:

We read with interest your dismissal of KU’s salary challenges. (J-W editorial Oct. 9.) While it may seem good to compare KU to institutions that are not members of the Association of American Universities (AAU), these are not KU’s academic peers.

AAU institutions maintain measurably higher levels of scholarship: AAU scholars publish in the most highly ranked journals, and they are among the most highly respected authorities in their fields. Most importantly, their mentorship and teaching of students is unparalleled.

To support AAU membership, KU must be competitive with respect to AAU peers to attract and retain good faculty. That KU faculty pay is 15% below regional AAU average, with unregulated guns in classrooms, means that KU is ripe for faculty poaching.

KU’s excellence in teaching is critical to the state’s economy and demonstrated by the contests students win. Just a month ago, three individual teams took three separate first place awards in three of the biggest high technology competitions in the world. Presidents, vice presidents and division directors of Boeing, Lockheed, General Atomics, Northrop, Textron/Cessna/Beechcraft, Learjet and many others visited and rained down congratulations after the KPR story aired. KU graduates now lead the state’s largest manufacturing industry designing scores of new products bringing more than $7.1 billion and tens of thousands of jobs to Kansas.

So while it may seem neat to build up athletics while tearing down academics, remember: the Kansas economy doesn’t run on football, it depends far more on the brainpower of KU alumni … and the great teachers who launched them.


Richard Heckler 7 months, 1 week ago

Excellent commentary .....

Unfortunately IMO the Lawrence retail markets and housing industry is based largely on KU basketball thus we have over extended markets.

Local government bodies have lived on the premise that Lawrence could steal the thundering retail markets of KCMO/JOCO which has yet to take place. More than once I have heard elected officials say "let's bring them to Lawrence"in public meetings.

When Lawrence officials decided Lawrence should become a "shop till you drop" community instead of a "college community" inflation went soaring beyond reality. Inflated personal property values = higher taxes annually.

Thank you letter writer for saluting KU as an academic institution.

Large donations to the KU football stadium will not change the football stats so I often am curious as to why very large donations don't find their way to academic grants and scholarships? The college loan situation has become such a scam on the backs of students.

Richard Heckler 7 months, 1 week ago

May I suggest that KU may be on the Privatized Profiteers list of victims. Defunding is a tool politicians use to set up tax dollar supported services as unable to function.

For Sale signs must be stored in secret warehouses owned by the nation wide Privatized Profiteers network. Salaries will be further reduced.

Bob Summers 7 months, 1 week ago

Congenital Liberals will say anything to get other peoples money.

Ask silicone valley where the best trained affordable employees come from. It's not KU. It's foreigners. Legal and illegal.

LTE needs to evolve his schtick. He needs to put his complex critical thinking cap on and use it.

Ken Lassman 7 months, 1 week ago

Wow, Bob; that last sentence of yours is the most pure form of projection that I've seen in quite a while.

Sam Crow 7 months, 1 week ago

RBG continues to whine about athletics and guns at KU and how it relates to being an AAU school.

Thirteen of the top 25 athletic departments by revenue in the country are AAU schools. KU ranked 38th has $90 million in revenue, versus Texas AM at $194 million. University of Texas is another $188 million. There is no correlation there. RBG just doesn’t like sports.

Half of the 60 AAU schools in the country are private, including Duke, Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, USC, and Northwestern. All have tuition in the neighborhood of $50,000 per year. Maybe RBG thinks KU should double its tuition.

One of his complaints in a recent article was about guns. In fact, in the picture accompanying the article about his AAUP meeting, guns was the number one issue on the slide. Teachers will leave because of it, we are told. However, just in this area, Colorado, Texas and Texas AM all have campus carry. All three AAU schools.

Regarding his coveted AAUP chapter at KU, it is hardly exclusive, as one is led to believe. There are hundreds of chapters across the country, including junior colleges. There are nine chapters in Kansas, including Bethel College. AAUP is nothing more than a labor union, similar to the teamsters. Remember, AAUP censured Mizzou for firing Melissa Click.

It can be noted that the engineering department at AAU listed KU is ranked 94th in the country. There are many schools such as Georgia Institute of Technology, Virginia Tech, University of Delaware, University of Arizona, all non AAU schools, are ranked above KU.

Ron if you don’t like it here, there are plenty of places for you to go.

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