Inequality and unfairness in higher education salaries
I am probably opening a can of worms for myself by writing about matters that require a revolution before real change can occur–but I feel compelled and clear that I want and need to write.
I have been in the process of seeking and applying for gainful employment in the Los Angeles area. I feel capable of meeting greater challenges as a professional in my field(s) of expertise but also feel under-employed at this time. I am not ashamed to write this but I am stunned by the reality of what I face in this journey.
One area of professional experience that I have is in teaching, mostly in higher education settings although I have also worked as a teacher in high schools and middle schools too. When I peruse the relatively few jobs that are available in my field (film/digital media production, mass communications, etc) I notice that the pay scales range from about $50K per annum to $80K (or less) per annum. The jobs have rigorous expectations in the application process and for the scope and nature of professional, creative and other experience for each applicant. That part is OK with me, and I feel that my experience and education exceed the published expectations for a teaching job. However, when I go to job openings at the same institutions in administration (deans, associate deans, others) I notice that the pay range that is indicated is significantly higher–starting around 70K and ranging up to the mid $100s, sometimes as high as $170,000 per annum. Why is there such a discrepancy in the pay scale between faculty and administration? Are administrators smarter? Do they do a much more difficult job? Do they deserve an extra $100,000 for their job, in comparison with a faculty member? I think not and I think this is yet one more indication of rampant inequity, unfairness, and near-exploitation in the workplace.
Revolution, or at least the obvious need for revolution is necessary but I fear that Americans and others have forgotten the importance and role of dissent in a democracy. The dissenting voice has been marginalized by hegemonic forces in the mainstream, with oppressed masses trudging through the much while hypnotized to believe that dissent is wrong.