Letters to the Editor

Checks and balances

The April 22 front-page article “University professors’ salaries rise nationwide” was timely.

However, the article would have been more complete if there also had been reference to the extensive story in the April 23 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education and if there had been an analysis of how GW’s faculty are doing relative to faculty at other universities. Since the Chronicle article can easily be found in Gelman Library and elsewhere, let me only address the standing of GW faculty salaries locally and nationally.

Locally, the universities to be compared are American, Catholic, Gallaudet, Georgetown, George Mason, Trinity College and the University of Maryland. At all three ranks of assistant, associate and full professor, GW’s average academic year salary exceeds that of the local universities except for two cases: Georgetown’s full professor average exceeds GW’s by $10,200 and the University of Maryland’s assistant professor average exceeds GW’s by $500.

Moreover, in most cases, GW’s average salaries are significantly higher than those at the local institutions. However, because we are talking about average salaries, we must always keep that in mind.

For example, we know that Georgetown University Law School has about 40 more faculty than GW Law School, and that generally law faculty have higher salaries than arts and science faculty, business school faculty and so on. (Medical school faculty are not included in the American Association of University Professors analyses).

Therefore, when this larger number of higher paid law faculty is included in the Georgetown University average salary figures, it raises the Georgetown University average salary numbers compared to GW’s. With the law school present in the two averages, Georgetown’s full professor average exceeds GW’s by about 10 percent; whereas when they are excluded for both universities, GW’s average is only about one percent less than Georgetown’s. GW’s associate professor average still exceeds that of Georgetown’s when the Law Schools are excluded.

It has been the aim of both GW President Trachtenberg and myself to keep GW’s average faculty salaries above the AAUP 80th percentile. The data show we have maintained this aim for our assistant and associate professors who now stand at the 80.5 percentile and 85.7 percentile, respectively. At the full professor rank, we stand this year at the 79.9 percentile, only slightly below our aim.

-Donald Lehman
vice president for academic affairs

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