20 March 2007

Glenn Grothman: wrong on education, again.

Hi folks,

A recent story in The Capital Times describing the lousy state of UW System faculty salaries -- something I'd suspected but hadn't been able to substantiate -- and the attendant legislative shenanigans.

Here are the juicy bits. For the entire article, follow the link:

David Olien: UW salary woes come as no surprise
By David Olien, March 19, 2007

Wednesday's edition of The Capital Times reported the results of a legislative audit revealing that generally faculty at the state's technical colleges are paid more than those on University of Wisconsin campuses.


...Wisconsin's legislators rank among the best paid in the nation when you examine their salaries, their generous per diem payments, their sick leave conversion privileges and their participation in the Wisconsin Retirement System.


Legislators indicating surprise at the audit finding are being disingenuous. The fact is UW System personnel and campus chancellors have been telling legislative leaders, members of Joint Finance and the rank and file for well over a decade that UW System faculty have fallen far behind their national peers. It should be no shock that faculty have been leaving UW two-year campuses for the technical colleges for over a decade. Legislators were also informed of that fact when the situation first developed.


For faculty at the two-year UW college campuses, the results were even worse, with a gap of over $12,500 annually behind national peers at the full professor rank, $9,000 at the associate rank and $10,000 at the assistant professor rank.

Not to mention that my salary trails the average UW system associate prof salary by about 8,000 -- and the tech school average by 11,000. I like my job, but that still seems like a lot to me sometimes.

Glenn gets a lot of the blame. For years he's railed against the UW System to make himself look like a neo-conservative purist and caused our little campus no end of grief -- even while hypocritically claiming to represent the residents of Washington County who benefit from our presence -- and while collecting, it now turns out, a pretty good salary.

He's used the excuse of university excesses, when there weren't any, to slash away at taxes for ideological rather than practical reasons.

The Devil is always in the details. Maybe Glenn can challenge him to a fiddling contest and have Charlie Daniels record it.



Anonymous said...

When was the last time the CapTimes got anything right, though ... outside of the Sports section, that is.

Mpeterson said...

Grin. Nearly every day.

Sorry to be a little rough, but even when it's appropriate,this kind of knee-jerk cynicism about the press -- a redherring often tossed into arguments by the neo-con fringe -- cannot stand in for actual reasoning.

This one, along with the LAB, they got right.

Anonymous said...

These so called wage gaps shows how increasingly irrelevant college education is and how two year education is most irrelevant of all. A good tech education is what more of Wisconsins kids need. And want. Although the liberals in Madison and elsewhere think everybody should be getting snooty useless degrees and going into debt for them. Who benefits from that? Bankers and professors. Not local communities. Here in Glenns district we dont hinherit our privilege, we earn it.

Mpeterson said...

Hello neighbor,

Well, first, did you even read the posting? I said technical education *is* an important part of Wisconsin's future.

But I'm afraid your comments don't make any sense to me. Here in Glenn's district over half the manufacturing jobs have disappeared in the past 10 years, and WorkForce Development has numbers that show another 50% or so will disappear in the next 10-15 years state wide.

If you live in West Bend you'd know that the West Bend Company is CLOSED and that all those jobs moved to Mexico and China -- largely, I'm afraid, because of changes to trade policy made by neo-conservatives, not liberals.

The real question you'll have to figure out, then, is where are all those Wisconsin kids with tech school degrees are supposed to work? Not in Wisconsin -- that much is sure.

Switching over to get more folks into universities has been shown to rebound economies all over the world and in Ireland in particular. The Irish miracle happened because they realized they couldn't turn back the clock. They realized that low tech jobs wouldn't save their economy when they had to compete against workers in China making 14 cents a day.

And I take exception to your reverse snobbery. Most of my students are first generation college students and some are adults who've lost their old manufacturing jobs. A lot of them work 30-40 hour weeks on 2nd and 3rd shift to put themselves through school and improve the lives of their families.

What in the hell is snooty about a degree that will more than quadruple your earning power over the course of a life time? And what in the hell is snooty about somebody who's job got busted out from under them trying to help their families by upgrading their education?

So here's the problem: where are *your* kids going to "earn" their privileges in a technical field, if most of those jobs aren't here anymore?