Monday, April 2, 2001



UH faculty pay
on low end
of scale

A study places teacher salaries
close to the bottom
20th percentile


By Treena Shapiro

WHEN UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII faculty say their pay is too low, they have a basis for their argument.

A study last spring by the American Association of University Professors placed University of Hawaii-Manoa's full-professor average salaries, $77,700, near the bottom 20th percentile among 200 other doctorate-granting universities.

AAUP Director of Research Ernst Benjamin said these professors' salaries would have to be increased by at least $20,000 to garner a spot in the top 100 of a national grouping that also includes private institutions.

Seeking higher salaries, the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly has set a Thursday strike date, rejecting the state's offer to increase Manoa faculty's pay by 7 percent over the next two years with an additional 3 percent in merit pay. The union is holding out for 12 percent raises at all campuses.

The state's chief negotiator, Davis Yogi, said that the state's position has hardened since the union set the strike date. In the state's final offer, community college faculty would see increases of $4,755 over two years with another 1 percent in merit pay.

Both sides will meet with a federal negotiator this morning to resume talks.

"What we're asking is not even enough (to bring Manoa into a competitive range)," said J.N. Musto, UHPA executive director. Although some full professors are paid more than $140,000, about a third of the full professors who do not teach during the summer months earn less than $70,000.

For comparison, the average full-professor salaries at two "peer institutions" identified by UH are $106,000 at the University of California-Los Angeles and $91,000 at UC-Davis.

According to Benjamin, the union's demands would be only a start toward increasing the university's attractiveness to current and potential employees. A $10,000 raise for full professors would put their average salaries beyond such peer universities as the University of Colorado-Boulder, where the average full professor's salary is $82,600, or Indiana University-Bloomington, $85,000 a year.

"Indiana is not a particularly high-pay research university," Benjamin pointed out.

Similarly, the University of Arizona pays on average only $4,200 more per year, but "one could live in Tucson for about half of what one can live on in Honolulu," he observed.

Full professors' salaries at Manoa are higher, however, than those at the University of Oregon, where the average salary for full professors is $71,500 a year.

In the late 1980s and into the 1990s, UH salaries caught up compared with mainland institutions, but "things have slipped away. We have kind of stayed in place while other universities have moved forward," said union negotiator James Heasley.

This creates problems in recruiting and some professors leaving the Manoa campus for better-paying jobs on the mainland, he said.

Yogi said recruiting and retaining faculty was not part of the contract negotiations, and the responsibility falls to the university administration to set salaries for desirable candidates.

"They have flexibility to hire people above the minimum, and they have flexibility to match people's offers if someone decides to leave," he said.

UH President Kenneth Mortimer is out of town and could not be reached for comment, but he testified before the Legislature in January that increasing professors' salaries must be made a priority to attract qualified faculty. With the loss of several valued faculty members, Mortimer said he supports bringing the university's salaries into the country's 80th percentile.

Meanwhile, some full professors in Manoa's Philosophy Department have been waiting 10 years to reach $50,000, while their graduating Ph.D.s are offered starting salaries of $40,000, according to another member of the negotiating team, philosophy professor Mary Tiles.

Two newly minted philosophy Ph.D.s were offered these salaries to teach at Touson University and a University of Pennsylvania satellite campus, she said. "That's the very bottom of the scale," she said, noting that these are "very, very average schools."

Measuring up

Here are the average salaries of full professors at Hawaii's public colleges and universities compared with mainland schools that the University of Hawaii has identified as peer institutions. Note: The cost of living in Hawaii is 23 percent above the national average according to Runzheimer International, an international management consulting firm.

Average salaries of UH-Manoa full professors vs. other public universities that also grant doctorate degrees.

University of Oregon: $71,500
University of Hawaii-Manoa: $77,700
University of Washington: $80,600
University of Arizona-Tucson: $81,900
University of Colorado at Boulder $82,600
Indiana University-Bloomington: $85,000
SUNY at Buffalo: $88,800
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities: $89,500
University of California-Davis: $91,000
University of California-Los Angeles: $106,000
National average full-professor salary: $101,575

Average salaries of UH-Hilo and UH West Oahu full professors vs. other four-year universities that also grant bachelor's degrees.

Mayville State University (North Dakota): $44,200
University of Maine at Fort Kent: $47,400
University of Maine at Machias: $48,100
Arkansas Tech University: $52,500
Southern University-New Orleans: $53,100
UH-West Oahu: $55,700
Missouri Western State College: $56,900
Armstrong Atlantic State University (Georgia): $59,800
UH-Hilo: $61,600
Christopher Newport University (Virginia): $65,200
University of North Carolina at Asheville: $65,200
State University of New York at Old Westbury: $67,000
Average full-professor salary (public 4-year): $74,421

Average salaries of UH community-college full professors compared with salaries at other two-year colleges.

Catawaba College (North Carolina): $49,200
SUNY College of Technology at Canton: $51,500
Miami-Dade Community College: $55,100
Windward Community College: $55,200
Hawaii Community College: $56,100
Honolulu Community College: $56,500
Kapiolani Community College: $59,500
Leeward Community College: $56,900
Kauai Community College: $57,100
Maui Community College: $60,000
Orange County Community College (NY): $61,100
Niagara County Community College: $66,900
Average full professor salary (public): $71,600

Sources: Academe: Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors March-April 2000 and University of Hawaii Human Resources

Competing offers

Here's how Hawaii public college faculty near the bottom, middle and high side of the pay scale would fare under the current contract proposals. Merit pay is not automatic in either proposal, but rather would be determined by college deans.

State's offer community colleges:

Low Middle High
Current salary: $30,000 $47,000 $80,000
Year 1 (+ $2,035) $32,035 $49,035 $82,035
Plus .5 percent merit $32,195 $49,280 $82,445
Year 2 (+ $2,720) $34,755 $51,755 $84,755
Plus .5 percent merit $34,929 $52,014 $85,179
With both merit increases $35,090 $52,260 $85,591

State's offer to UH-Manoa, West Oahu and Hilo

Low Middle High
Current salary: $30,000 $80,000 $140,000
Year 1 (3 percent) $30,900 $82,400 $144,200
Plus 1.5 percent merit $31,364 $83,636 $146,363
Year 2 (4 percent) $32,136 $85,696 $149,968
Plus 1.5 percent merit $32,618 $86,981 $152,217
With both merit increases $33,118 $88,286 $154,500

UHPA counteroffer for all campuses

Low Middle High
Current salary: $30,000 $80,000 $140,000
Year 1 (6 percent) $31,800 $84,800 $148,400
Plus .5 percent merit $31,959 $85,224 $149,142
Year 2 (6 percent) $33,708 $89,888 $157,304
Plus .5 percent merit $33,877 $90,337 $158,090
With both merit increases $34,046 $90,789 $158,880

Sources: UHPA, state STAR-BULLETIN

UHPA Web site

Ka Leo O Hawaii
University of Hawaii


Questions and answers
for University of Hawaii
students in case of strike

Question: Will all campuses remain open during a strike?

Answer: Yes. Students will still be expected to report to class but may consider class canceled if an instructor does not show up after 10 minutes. Student housing and campus food service operations will operate as normal. Libraries, financial aid offices, parking lots and student health centers will also remain open, as will information technology services, like e-mail and Web sites.

Q: What can students expect if crossing a picket line?

A: Police officers may be present at campus entrances to insure pickets conduct themselves in accordance with the law. Threats of physical conduct and coercive behavior by pickets is illegal, but verbal comments are not, so students should learn to ignore such comments.

Q: Can students show support for UHPA?

A: Yes, in any way that does not disrupt the educational experience for other students. Any students joining a picket line must follow laws governing such demonstrations.

Q: Will a strike cause any changes to the academic calendar?

A: Not at this point. There are presently no plans to cancel the semester, and no changes have been made to graduation and summer session dates. The spring term contains extra days that may be used to make up missed instruction time, and if the strike exceeds those days, students will be informed of any changes to the schedule.

Q: If the semester is canceled, will tuition be refunded?

A: Students will be advised on the question of refunds if the semester is canceled.

Q: What if the strike affects my progress to graduation?

A: After the strike, students adversely affected by the missed course time should consult with an academic adviser first, and if still not satisfied, the campus student-affairs official.

Q: What happens to practicum students in the Department of Education if UHPA and/or HSTA go on strike?

A: Students will be expected to continue their field assignment unless their supervising faculty and mentor-teacher are not available. Students needing more information should call the dean's office at 956-2606 or e-mail

Q: Will medical residencies be affected by a strike?

A: No. Faculty members who supervise residents have been declared "essential employees" and are not allowed to strike.

Q: Will students with campus employment be required to work?

A: Some work sites may close in the event of a strike. Otherwise, students should discuss schedules with their supervisors. If he or she is on strike, consult the dean, director or manager for the unit. Students may be accommodated if they choose to honor the picket line, but they should make every effort to report to work. Unexcused absences could result in termination. If students cannot cross the picket line, they should report details to their office or the dean or director of the department.

Students cannot be asked to perform work normally done by striking employees that is not part of their regular job description.

Q: Will NCAA eligibility be affected by a strike?

A: Student athletes will not be affected unless the strike is prolonged and affects their progress toward graduation. The university will work with the NCAA to resolve the situation.

Source: University of Hawaii,

More information for students, faculty, and international students and scholars
is also available on this Web site and via a recorded strike information line
at 956-4560 on Oahu and 1-866-898-5161 from neighbor islands and the mainland.

UHPA Web site

Ka Leo O Hawaii
University of Hawaii

E-mail to City Desk

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