DSC professor salaries $8,000 below state average
Published: Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 13:10
You've finally figured out what you want to major in–it's biology. As you're walking out of the adviser's office, now knowledgeable about which classes you need to take to graduate, you absolutely cannot wait until you get back to your apartment.
You sit down on a bench, pull your laptop out, go to the Dixie website, and get to the class search. You click on the biology section, scroll down to the CRN number the adviser wrote down for you, and you try to add it but nothing happens.
You look over to the left only to realize the class is closed and the waiting list is 23 people long. You scroll down to see if there are any open classes left, but there are none. You need that class to graduate with this degree, yet there's no possible way to make that happen. Now what do you do?
Well, the fact is, there isn't anything you could do if this were to happen. That's the problem. Normally, colleges and universities would just hire more professors if the need came up, which in this day's economy and in Dixie State College's position is becoming a challenge.
Donna Dillingham-Evans, the executive vice president of academic services, said the typical hiring season starts during October, and because the state legislature doesn't meet until January, Dixie is not allocated any money until it's too late to get the most competitive of applicants.
"With the way the economy and legislature work, and the fact we don't have funding for higher education, we actually don't get to advertise [jobs] until March–long past hiring season," Dillingham-Evans said. "This means we have a smaller pool of candidates. If we cannot advertise then we're already a year behind to get the most competitive applicants."
In order for a position to become open a department has to submit a request. Then the dean goes over all of these requests, and he submits which ones he thinks are most important to Dillingham-Evans. She said various committees critically look at the needs of each request and each department. After it's been decided whose need is most important they sit back and wait on the legislature.
Dillingham-Evans said there are three things that hiring depends on:
"One: how much money we are granted," she said. "Two: how much we would need to increase tuition to hire applicants. Three: faculty that retire so we can that we can [spread] that money across the campus."
There is a huge difference on all average salaries arond the United States.
According to chronicle.com, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the national average for public universities of professor's salaries for 2011 is $89,518. The average for DSC is $77,400. The highest public salaries in the U.S. are located at Harvard University. They average out to be $193,800.
The average for Utah is $85,520. The public school with the highest salaries in Utah is the University of Utah. The salaries there average to $116,300. There could be many reasons for this difference. One is Dixie is not a research school, meaning faculty are not required to conduct reasearch experiments or publish anything.
It's been said before that because of the low cost of tuition. Darren Lance, a freshman general education major from Kamas, said he sometimes wishes he had paid more to get a better teacher. He said some of the teachers here at Dixie obviously weren't the first choice. Whether it's because of the salary offered, the location, or something else, we're not getting the quality education we should.
No, this definitely is not Harvard or Ivy League, but that doesn't mean Dixie's teachers are terrible at teaching their students.
Lance said: "Overall [the education] is pretty good. I think a lot of the teachers are very loyal to their jobs considering the salaries they're offered."
Matt Smith-Lahrman said one of the reasons the salaries are so low is because of Dixie's location. Take Utah State or University of Utah for example: They're in contact with the legislature constantly. It's not that they're cheating Dixie out of money, it's that the legislature is closer to the schools up north, therefore they more often see the accomplishments of those schools. Whereas they don't see all the accomplishments Dixie makes.
Brent Yergensen, assistant professor of communication and department chair, said, "[The] pecking order is U of U, USU, SUU, Weber, UVU, Dixie."
He said now that DSC is trying to become a four-year school, it hopes to get more recognition.