North Texas Daily

Paycheck priorities

Paycheck priorities

March 25
21:35 2013

Recently the Texas Tribune released the salaries of various coaches, educators, and administrators here at UNT.

Coach Dan McCarney was the highest earner with about $475,000. Outgoing President V. Lane Rawlins was in second place with $344,000.

That’s right: A coach earns more than $100,000 more than our top administrator. The highest paid person who is an actual educator, College of Business Dean O. Finley Graves, earns about $267k, or about one-fifth of a million dollars less than a coach.

Graves is in the No. 5 spot and the next academic, College of Engineering Dean Constantinos Tsatsoulis, is in spot No. 9 with $230,000. This is ridiculous.

I would be more outraged if I thought this were in any way unusual. Sadly, other public universities demonstrate similar trends.

Admittedly, coaches and the athletic departments they head up bring in large amounts of cash for the university, but almost all of that money goes to their programs and doesn’t benefit the average student or in any way improve the academic programs of the school.

Actual professors, on the other hand, are often dependent upon a mix of university payroll and funding grants.

Coaches don’t necessarily need to be successful to garner alumni and corporate support. Coach McCarney’s 37.5 percent win record demonstrates that much.

Professors, however do need to be successful, whether developing new technologies or publishing books, in order to maintain their positions and funding. Thus, actual academics have a far more precarious position monetarily and get paid significantly less for their trouble.

This year alone, UNT Press has more than 20 books scheduled for publication, and there are hundreds of books and articles being published elsewhere by our professors and graduate students.

Our academic departments are wildly successful but get the short end of the stick in terms of funding.  Further, much of the outside funding that comes in for professors’ work goes to supporting graduate students, a burden coaches don’t face.

This is yet another sign that our university has its priorities seriously out of place. This demonstrable anti-academic bias must stop. We were, and still are, an excellent school for almost every academic field and we’re even improving in areas our school hasn’t traditionally pursued.

We are not succeeding athletically—in football least of all.  And yet we pay our coaches, the least successful and most expensive department the most money.

Between them and administrators, who produce nothing tangible, they take up eight of the top 10 paying posts. UNT needs to rethink its pay scale.

J. Holder Bennett is a history Ph.D. student. He can be reached at JasonBennett2@my.unt.edu.

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