Proposal: Hire 28 adjuncts to replace Sally Mason

University of Iowa Pentacrest
photo by Alan Light

When the current president and vice-chancellor of the University of Alberta, Indira Samarasekera, announced her upcoming retirement, 56 Canadian academics, frustrated with the massive pay gap between professors and administrators, pulled a truly awesome prank: They applied for the VC’s $400,000 Canadian (About $368,500 U.S., according to Slate) position in groups of four.

The stunt is the brainchild of Dalhousie University professor Kathleen Cawsey, who says that even a quarter of a top administrator’s typical salary would double or triple her and her co-conspirators’ — er, co-applicants’ — current salaries.

In light of the University of Iowa’s ongoing search for President Sally Mason’s replacement, we crunched some numbers and came up with a couple of suggestions:

  • At an average salary of $122,258, four to five tenured Professors at the University of Iowa could take over for Mason.
  • Alternatively, the Presidency could be split between six to seven Associate Professors, who average $80,776 per year.
  • And at a mighty cost-effective $18,000 (before taxes), exactly 28.5 adjunct professors at the University of Iowa could be nominated to fill President Mason’s $513,000 shoes.

As adjuncts and assistants continue to take on more class time at the UI, I think we all know which option the Regents will prefer.

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