MU's professors break national salary trends

MU medical professors make up 19 of top 20 professors salaries.
Ashley Lane / Graphic Designer

A study published in the Chronicle of Higher Education on Monday demonstrated the inequality between professor’s salaries based on the subject they teach. Nationally, law professors are paid higher than any other division, but at MU medical professors outstrip their colleagues.

The study split up the salaries by the subject in which the professors teach and by the level at which they were teaching.

The legal profession and study was the highest salary for a full-time professor, at about $130,000. Theology professors earned the lowest salary, at about $74,000.

Similarly, the humanities professors had noticeably lower salaries at MU, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune’s 2010 salary database. Professors of art, history and English were frequently under the $100,000 threshold, according to the database.

“We did no salary increase this year, thinking that most people would do the same and we might move up slightly,” said Betsy Rodriguez, UM System vice president of human resources in a previous Maneater article. “But in fact, many of the AAU institutions did do a moderate salary increase, and we are definitely still at the bottom of that group.”

MU Budget Director Tim Rooney did not respond to multiple requests for interview.

MU spokesman Christian Basi said the average salary of an MU professor is $111,000.

The highest paid professorships at MU were the law, medicinal, marketing/business and biochemical departments, according to the Tribune’s database. Nineteen of the top 20 paid professors were in the medicinal and surgical profession. Twenty-one professors received salaries exceeding that of Chancellor Brady Deaton.

According to the budget release, MU’s total revenue for 2011 is approximately $1.9 billion. Of MU’s total revenue, approximately $488 million makes up the general operating fund, which comes from tuition, state support and grants.

Seventy-three percent or about $356 million of the operating funds goes toward salaries.

At $625,000, Chairman and Professor of Orthopedic Surgeon James P. Stannard, has the highest salary on MU’s campus, according to the Tribune’s database.

Basi said the high salary is blurred by the definition of a professor’s salary. Professors’ salaries also come from different sources, including gifts and grants.

When professors receive grants, some of the grant money may replace part of their university salary. The university can then pay for other instruction expenses.

The professors of business, law and medicine were paid significantly higher wages in comparison to other departments. The top 10 MU professors make an average of $412,305, and the bottom 10 make an average of $48,046.

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