I saw a presentation on C-SPAN this week, of some data about higher education in America.
Here’s the stat that leaped out at me: since 1988, the average salary of full-time faculty across all ranks at institutions of higher learning in the U.S. has risen 7.5%. The fastest-growing rank was that of instructor, which has risen 25%.
Compare these numbers with the inflation rate from January 1988 through January 2005: 65%. (You can get these numbers for any two dates from 1914 to the present at http://inflationdata.com/Inflation/Inflation_Rate/InflationCalculator.asp.)
I’m on the verge of speculating about explanations here, but will bite my tongue to see if anyone else wishes to speculate first. Regardless of the explanation, however, these numbers are disturbing.