Education


This blog post gathers together recent data and information on University Professor salaries in North America.  I happen to have just accepted an Assistant Professor position at Trinity Western University in British Columbia, Canada which (unfortunately for me) has the lowest salaries in all of Canada.  I was aware of this before I got the job and choose to work here for reasons outside of pay.  However, it is a slight consolation to know that academics in Canada on average are the best paid in the world (taking into account cost of living differences).  This according to a new book

Paying the Professoriate: A Global Comparison of Compensation and Contracts

more details and a global league table can be found in this New York Times article on the book.

All sorts of useful data on University (teaching/academic) salaries in the United States including averages by discipline, career stage, region, and type/size of University can be accessed through The Chronicle of Higher Education:

http://chronicle.com/article/faculty-salaries-data-2012/131431#id=144050

For full-time teachers at Canadian Universities 201o-2011 statistics (mean, median, 10th and 90th percentile, maximum and minimum) for each rank at every University in Canada is provided in a report by Statistics Canada:

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-595-m/81-595-m2012097-eng.pdf

If you want to be really nosy, in British Columbia, you can find out the pay of the highest paid public employers (those who earn over ~$75,000 CAD), including individual professors at the public universities.  Search the database (data currently from fiscal year 2010/2011) compiled by the Vancouver Sun:

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/public-sector-salaries/basic.html

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The way things are typically taught at University is at odds with what we know about how we learn.  Here is a fascinating interview with Alison Gopnik in Macleans magazine.  Here are some choice quotes:

“The traditional way of thinking about learning at a university is … not a model that anybody’s ever found any independent evidence for.”

“[in traditional university education] There’s not exploratory learning, there’s not guided apprenticeship.”

“…it’s sort of ironic, [students at elite universities are] over-prepared, … Because there’s insane pressure on high school students to achieve and get into college, by the time they get here they’ve already got a mindset: “All right, it’s absolutely imperative that I get an A+ on every single test and I need to know what I have to do to achieve that.” But what we want in students is creativity and a willingness to fail. I always say to students, “If you’ve never at some point stayed up all night talking to your new boyfriend about the meaning of life instead of preparing for the test, then you’re not really an intellectual.”

“The issue … is we’re selecting a group that has gone through so much pressure to get to university that they don’t have that wide-ranging curiosity that’s a really important part of having an intellectual life.”

Alison Gopnik is a professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley. Her research field is in children’s learning and development, her most recent book is The Philosophical Baby: What children’s minds tell us about love, truth and the meaning of life.  Here she is speaking about her work at a TED conference: