February 22, 2017

Anyone glancing at statistics on student debt will conclude millennials are having a rough time financially.

So we raised an eyebrow when the UNC Faculty Assembly trashed the Board of Governors and the Legislature for a myriad of sins, demanding accreditation agencies stop the push for reform in the UNC System.

Among the sins the Faculty Assembly detests: the conservative majority’s passage of a $500/semester tuition plan to help students avoid a debt mountain.

And then we dug up some facts.

The average professor at UNC teaches an average 2.5 courses per semester.

And since classes sometimes meet only three days a week, a professor might only be in the classroom six or seven hours a week.

Meanwhile, look at some UNC average professor salaries:
Arts and Humanities – $123,000
Social Sciences – $147,000
Government – $163,000
Social Work – $135,000

The fair conclusion is a lot of professors get paid a lot for not a lot of work.

Which brings us back to the UNC Faculty Assembly. When Senator McInnis introduced a bill reducing salaries for professors who don’t teach 4 classes a semester instead of the current 2.5 (with protection for research university professors who really do important work outside the classroom), the Faculty Assembly went nuts.

Chairman Stephen Leonard – a Political Science Professor – said increasing faculty workload was the Legislature’s attempt to kill public higher education in North Carolina.

Kill public higher education?

Leonard cited cancer researchers who work outside the classroom while ignoring McInnis’ protection for them. So much for academic integrity.

The bottom line is clear: The Faculty Assembly that begrudges students’ $500 tuition only wants more for themselves.

And if anyone doubts professors have rigged the system for themselves, consider the words of liberal icon Professor Gene Nichol. “We (law professors) have managed to assure the highest faculty salary levels… and teaching loads have become extraordinarily and unnecessarily generous.”

Incidentally, Professor Leonard only gets paid $87,000.

What a pity.