The University of Liberia Faculty and Staff Associations are threatening to get tough unless paid back salaries. Part-time faculty haven’t been paid their salaries for June and July. Part-timers are demanding to be paid before the 28th of each month, and (here’s the kicker) according to this piece from the Monrovia Inquirer, “and pay part-time faculty members of the university US$100.00 monthly per course as of July 1st, 2008.” Thus, a part-timer at the University of Liberia would earn $1,600 for teaching two courses per year.
Liberia has a population of about 3.4 million, and the average income is $200 per year. So, $100 per month per course would put part-time faculty pay there well above the average income. There are two universities in the country. The oldest university, and the largest, is the University of Liberia, with 15,000 students and 1,000 faculty and staff.
In the United States, the median average household income is $48,200. A full-time lecturer at Portland State University, teaching the full load of 45 credit hours (15 three-credit hour courses) per year, will earn a salary of $30,420, or 63 percent of the average household income in the United States for teaching what amounts to a double full-time load, plus another three credits. (A full-time load for tenured and tenure-line faculty at Portland State is five to six courses per year.) Portland State University part-timers have been represented by their union since 1978.
Of course, Monrovia is no Portland, but at least on what they earn part-time college faculty in Liberia can afford to send their children to college in either Liberia or the United States.