Field of Science

How a university works - summer salary

Most of us work a 9 month contract, which means we get 8 monthly paydays, and two half-month paydays (August & May). There are 3 ways to get paid 11 months of pay. One, get the university to pay you your 9 months of salary over 11 months. This is for people who have serious issues with making and keeping to a budget. Two, get a grant that will pay your salary for 2 months. Three, you can teach one or two classes in the summer term. The Phactor is no dope, so option one is out. The number of times the Phactor has had that much grant money can be counted on the fingers of one hand, so generally #2 has become quite unrealistic. And quite frankly once the Phactor figured out how the university calculates your salary during the summer, #3 was out because not only is the summer time for research and scholarly activities, who wants to work for half pay! Yes, that's right half pay. How can that be right? Well, here's a quick lesson on how faculty get paid. The university says faculty must teach 12 FTE (fulltime teaching equivalents) to get our monthly salary, which for purposes of easy calculations, is $4000. A 3-hour course that meets 3 hrs/week is 3 FTE, so you could teach 4 3-hour courses, which comes to 12 contact hours with students a week for the 15 week long semester (and what with a little before and a little after is 4.5 months long). So you decide to teach a 3-hour summer course, so the university says, that's 1/4th of 12 FTE so you get 1/4 of your monthly salary or $1000, BUT you only get that for the 2 months of the summer session. OK got that so far? Do you see the problem? You've got 45 contact hours to fit into 2 months, so you must meet the class 6 hours a week to do that. Now let's compare the results of teaching 1 3-hr course during the regular semester and during the summer session. During the semester you'd get $1000/month for 4.5 months or $4500. During the summer session you'd get $1000/month for 2 months or $2000. Now students pay the same tuition for 3 credit hours, but in the summer the faculty member teaching the course gets about 45% as much salary as during the regular semester. What a deal! An administrator once disputed this calculation, and after putting it all down on a white board for him, he simply said that isn't correct, but couldn't tell any of us the error. Now it's not that old U of Lincolnland is paying the Phactor all that much anyways, and no question, the Phactor can be bought, just not cheaply. This caused a serious problem, a bit of a rift in fact, between the Phactor and a rather tutonic chair who said PP might have to teach in the summer whether he liked it or not. But since no 11 month contract was forthcoming, contract negotiations broke down. He had difficulty accepting that he could not afford my services, and could not treaten or brow beat me into signing the contract. This all left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth regarding summer teaching, and having vowed to never do it, the Phactor has proved unwavering. How fortunate that Mrs. Phactor keeps me in a comfortable style affording the luxury of saying, "No."

1 comment:

Mrs Phactor said...

This is why I said, just today, that I am a biological benefactor