Despite raises, UW faculty salaries still lag

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Associated Press | December 16, 2013

STEVENS POINT — Even after three years of raises totaling more than $9 million, professors in the University of Wisconsin System still earn less than they could at comparable universities, according to a published report.

For example, full professors at UW-Madison earned an average salary of $106,200 last year, but the median salary among 11 similar schools was $134,500. Gannett Wisconsin Media reported.

The figures underscore the challenge of attracting and retaining the best professors. The UW System has been aggressive about offering targeted raises, and officials have been pushing the Legislature for more control and flexibility to set competitive salaries. But even with those efforts, the pay gap remains significant.

Some faculty members are willing to accept lower salaries because they're comfortable in their careers. Consider Devinder Sandhu, a biology professor at UW-Stevens Point whose base salary is listed at $68,000. He says he regularly gets offers that would pay $93,000 or more, but he enjoys working with students in the school's plant-research lab.

"The salaries are way off, but there's also satisfaction in this job," Sandhu said.

But while Sandhu is staying put, many of his UW colleagues aren't.

A report compiled for a Board of Regents committee this month showed the UW System lost 1,182 faculty members between 2011 and 2013. The majority retired but nearly 500 quit.

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