Pages: 1 2
The borrowing also goes to pay for professors, who stand in solidarity with the so-called 99 percent. And as one might suspect, railing against income inequity doesn’t come cheap. According to the New York Times, which noted that academic pay between 2008 and 2009 had been “squeezed by the recession,” the average salary then was $109,843 for a full professor, $76,566 for an associate professor, $64,433 for an assistant professor, $47,592 for an instructor and $53,112 for a lecturer.
Professorial work loads? From the Bureau of Labor Statics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-2011:
Most postsecondary teachers have flexible schedules. They must be present for classes, usually 12 to 16 hours per week, and for faculty and committee meetings. Most establish regular office hours for student consultations, usually 3 to 6 hours per week. Otherwise, teachers are free to decide when and where they will work and how much time to devote to course preparation, grading, study, research, graduate student supervision, and other activities.
The manual makes no reference to the fact that many college professors also have summers off. Nor does it make any references to tenure, which amounts to lifetime job security in a nation where the official unemployment rate in 9.1 percent, and the unofficial U-6 unemployment rate currently stands at 16.5 percent.
And then there are college presidents. The Chronicle of Higher Education reveals that the “median total compensation for college presidents in 2009-10 was $375,442.” The median total cost of employment, which includes bonuses and deferred compensation paid out over multiple years? A whopping $440,487 per annum.
Thus it should come as no surprise that student debt is at an all-time high. Two-thirds of college students graduate with such debt, and that debt averages $24,000 per student. And despite the reality that student debt cannot be forgiven even if one files for bankruptcy, 8.8 percent of student loan borrowers who entered repayment in 2009 had defaulted by the end of 2010, up from 7 percent the previous year
Even less surprising? One of the planks of the OWS movement is student debt forgiveness. “People are underwater on their student loans, just like they’re underwater on their mortgages,” said Staten Island lawyer Robert Applebaum. “The degrees aren’t worth what people paid for them, and it’s affecting the whole economy. I can’t tell you how many people have told me they’re putting off starting families and buying cars,” he added. Applebaum created a petition entitled Forgive Student Loan Debt. It has garnered more than 600,000 signatures in six weeks.
Our intrepid Penn professors? “Only by identifying the complex interconnections between repressive economic, social, and political regimes can social and economic justice prevail in this country and around the globe,” their petition states. Undoubtedly these professors remain purposefully oblivious to the reality that one of those repressive economic interconnections is taxpayer-guaranteed college loans, which underwrite higher education’s increasingly exorbitant costs. Taxpayers who, even if they have never been near a college campus, much less attended college, would be saddled with bailing out another group of elitists in the hallowed halls of academia, should the OWS crowd hold sway.
One can only imagine how much of a sacrifice the Penn professors would be willing to make in order to help make college more affordable. A modest salary cut — for the greater good — comes immediately to mind. In conclusion, the petition calls on “all members of the Penn community to lend their support to this peaceful and potentially transformative movement.” Perhaps such professors could be persuaded to “lend their support” in the manner of a colloquialism decidedly more at home in a neighborhood bar than on a college campus: put your money where your mouth is, ladies and gentlemen.
Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle. Click here.
Pages: 1 2