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When The Janitors Earn More Than The Lecturers

by P.D. Lesko

Every year, the University of Michigan releases a report which lists the salaries paid to all faculty and staff. I stumbled across a link to the document as I read a blog written by a faculty member at the university. The Excel spreadsheet is some 35,416 rows long. Columns list the employee’s name, job code description, department, salary, appointment type (i.e. 12-month, 9-month) and FTE. The information is made public because the University of Michigan is a public institution. Believe me when I say the document is a fabulous read.

To begin, the University of Michigan has three campuses. Pay for full-time temporary lecturers in the English departments on the campuses varied widely in 2003. For instance, the pay of all but two of the adjunct lecturers teaching English on the institution’s Flint campus was calculated on a base salary of $24,000. (An adjunct lecturer holding a .25 FTE appointment would be paid $6,000.) Meanwhile, all but one adjunct lecturer teaching English on the Dearborn campus had a base salary rate of $19,680. (A lecturer on that campus with a .25 FTE appointment would be paid $4,920.)

On the Ann Arbor campus, a Lecturer I teaching English

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