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In Virginia, 80 percent of the highest-paid public employees are in higher education


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8/06/2019

In Virginia, 80 percent of the highest-paid public employees are in higher education

By EMA GAVRILOVIC - DEPAUL UNIVERSITY


Six-figure salaries for deans, directors, vice presidents

Nearly 80 percent of the highest paid state employees in the state of Virginia are public university staffers. Those individuals all pull down significant six-figure salaries, with one making over a million dollars per year.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch was able to obtain state employees’ salaries through the state’s Freedom of Information statute. The paper found that 19 of the top 25 highest-paid employees in the state are employed at public institutions of higher education.

According to the data, the top earner, Michael Rao, the president of Virginia Commonwealth University, is paid over $1 million annually. Nine of the salary earners hold positions at the University of Virginia, one of the state’s most prestigious public universities. The president of that university makes over $960,000 per year; the school’s chair of the department of surgery makes nearly $630,000.

Three of the staffers on the list work at Virginia Tech. That school’s vice president for advancement makes over $676,000 per year.

Tracy Vosburgh, a campus spokeswoman for Virginia Tech, defended those high salaries, stating that Virginia Tech is an “academically rigorous Research One Institution” and is “the land grant for the Commonwealth” that “strive[s] to have salaries that are competitive with our peers to attract and retain the best.”

“This list shows that Virginia Tech has attracted among the nation’s best in a few key positions at the highest level. The leadership at Virginia Tech has played a key role in the growth and economic stability of Roanoke and the region, the successful bid to bring Amazon and vital job growth to Northern Virginia and has positioned the university and the region in a strong position to educate and prepare the next generation in Virginia,” Vosburgh told The College Fix.

Laura Osberger, a spokeswoman for the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, offered a defense of the high salaries of the leaders of colleges and universities.

“College presidents manage multi-million and sometimes billion-dollar enterprises that affect the lives of thousands of people. Thus, college and university compensation is a factor of a competitive market and complex work. In Virginia, the Boards of Visitors of our public higher education institutions negotiate the compensation packages of presidents,” Osberger told The Fix via email.

“We know that universities also compete for top faculty, particularly in areas where they can bring high amounts of research funding to the institutions,” she added, citing a report from The Chronicle of Higher Education listing the salaries of numerous university presidents from around the country. Some are significantly higher than Rao’s. William McRaven, the president of the University of Texas system, makes over two and a half million dollars per year.

That list also shows how steeply such salaries can rise in a relatively short period of time. Rao’s salary in the 2009-2010 fiscal year was listed as $488,500. Since then his pay has increased by nearly 110 percent.

Vosburgh said of Virginia’s university leaders that “both market and peer review would show [the] salaries are appropriate.”

“This list…shows that Virginia is striving to be competitive in attracting the countries best to serve the needs of the Commonwealth,” she said, adding: “We are appreciative of the support we receive from the Commonwealth. Virginia has a long standing reputation for education excellence.”

Representatives from numerous other schools represented on the list, including Old Dominion University and the University of Virginia, did not respond to requests for comment. At ODU, school football coach Bobby Wilder makes well over half a million dollars. Carla Williams, the athletic director of the University of Virginia, makes nearly $570,000 per year. 






4/09/2019

Huge variations in US postdoc salaries point to undervalued workforce

Rare effort to track wages reveals inconsistencies and a gender pay gap.

Chris Woolston








Female postdocs earn less than their male counterparts across much of the United States.
Credit: Emilija Manevska/Getty

A peer-reviewed report on the salaries of nearly 14,000 postdoctoral researchers working at 52 US institutions has revealed wide disparities.

Salaries ranged from US$23,660 — the minimum wage set by the US Fair Labor Standards Act — to well over $100,000. The figures, which refer to salaries on 1 December 2016, were obtained through US Freedom of Information Act requests by members of the Future of Research, a science-advocacy group in Boston, Massachusetts.

The study represents one of few such efforts to quantify postdoc compensation in a meaningful way. Historically, it has been difficult to track postdoc wages, because individuals might be paid through their principal investigator’s grant, through their own fellowship award or directly by the university where they work. Furthermore, postdocs can be classified variously as postdoctoral scientists, research fellows, research associates or other titles, even within a single institution or organization.



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The inconsistency of compensation suggests that some institutions haven’t been paying close attention to the postdocs on their campuses, says Gary McDowell, executive director of the Future of Research and co-author of the report, which was published last November1. “We’ve found that a lot of institutions can’t count their postdocs well,” he says. “It’s fair to assume that they aren’t really checking up on things like salary.”

Between the extremes, many salaries clustered around the median of about $47,500. That’s close to the starting salary set by the US National Institutes of Health for postdocs receiving National Research Service Awards (NRSA). Although the NRSA salary guideline applies to only about 15% of NIH-funded postdocs, many institutions clearly use it as a benchmark, McDowell says.

The data also suggest that female postdocs are relatively underpaid, at least in some parts of the country. The authors collected the first names of more than 7,200 postdocs and used an algorithm to estimate gender, further breaking down the data by US geographical region (northeast, south, Midwest and west). The results suggest that female postdocs in the south were paid about $1,940 less per year than were male postdocs, on average. In the northeast, home to some of the largest and most prestigious universities in the country, female postdocs received, on average, about $1,710 less than their male equivalents. In the west and Midwest, salaries were roughly equal between male and female researchers.




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The cause of that gender gap is unclear. Anecdotally, McDowell says, many postdocs in recent years have told him that they have successfully negotiated for higher salaries. In his experience, those negotiators tend to be male and originate from the United States or Europe — factors that seem to give them an advantage over female researchers from other parts of the world (see also ref. 2).

Paula Stephan, an economist at Georgia State University in Atlanta, who has served on several committees of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, applauds the release of the data and the work that went into it. “It’s important for everyone to know what postdocs are getting paid,” she says. Still, she notes, many gaps remain. The report has data from only one private university, and some of the 51 public universities in the study provided salaries for only a handful of their postdocs. “It’s not a complete picture at all,” she says.


    
   
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McDowell hopes that increased transparency over postdoc salaries will give more researchers the knowledge and motivation to seek salaries that reflect their worth. He notes that the National Academies recommended a minimum postdoctoral salary of $50,000 in a 2018 report3 on the next generation of researchers — a suggestion that he supports as a good starting point. He would also like to see salaries adjusted to cover the cost of living in expensive areas. “It’s still too low, considering what postdocs are expected to do and the hours they are expected to put in,” he says. “These are essentially cheap staff scientists.”

Stephan, who contributed to the 2018 National Academies report, says that she has known for many years that some postdocs around the country are severely underpaid. “At most universities, postdoc pay isn’t very well centrally controlled,” she says. “You can get a faculty member who thinks they can hire people for a low salary.”


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If more institutions started paying attention to their postdocs and if more postdocs advocated for their worth, wages would probably rise and many inequities would shrink, McDowell says. “There’s basically no impetus to change,” he says. “This study should provide some impetus. We’re paying attention.”



References

  1. 1.

    Athanasiadou, R. et al. Stud. Grad. Postdr. Educ. 9, 213–242 (2018).

  2. 2.

    Leibbrandt, A. & List, J. A. Mgmt Sci. 61, 2016–2024 (2015).

  3. 3.

    National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The Next Generation of Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences Researchers: Breaking Through (National Academies Press, 2018).



Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00587-y





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4/09/2019

美国博士后收入状况调研 中位数竟然只有这个数?!!

原文作者:Chris Woolston
来源: Nature自然科研

一项罕见的跟踪调查显示,博士后收入差距较大,亦存在性别差异。


一份经过同行评议的调查报告显示,美国博士后的工资差异显著。该报告一共调查了52所美国研究机构的近14000名博士后。
年薪范围从最低的23660美元(美国《公平劳动标准法》制定的最低工资标准)到远超10万美元以上。以上数据统计至2016年12月1日,波士顿的科学倡议团体Future of Research根据美国《信息自由法》的相关条款获得了以上数据。

这项调研代表了为数不多的针对博士后待遇的切实量化研究。对博士后工资的追踪历来难度很大,因为他们的收入来源包括首席科学家的研究经费、自己的奖学金或是直接来自所在大学。此外,博士后的头衔更是五花八门,有博士后科学家、研究员和博士后研究员等,即使同一个机构或组织也存在着各种称谓。

上述报告已于去年11月发表,报告的共同作者、Future of Research的执行董事Gary McDowell表示,待遇差异意味着某些机构对自己的博士后不够重视。他说:“我们发现许多机构根本不清楚他们有多少博士后,因此可以假设他们也没有真正关注过博士后的待遇。



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除了高低两个极端,大部分博士后的年薪集中在中位数47500美元左右,接近美国国立卫生研究院为获得国家科研服务资助金(National Research Service Awards,NRSA)的博士后设定的最低标准。McDowell说,虽然NRSA的指导工资只适用于约15%的受美国国立卫生研究院资助的博士后,但是许多机构显然都以之为基准。

调查数据还显示,女性博士后的待遇相对偏低——至少在美国某些地区情况如此。作者收集了7200多名博士后的名字,并用一种算法去估计性别,再根据美国的地理分区(东北部、南部、中西部和西部)进一步细分数据。结果显示,在美国南部,女性博士后的年薪平均比男性博士后要低1940美元左右;而在美国知名院校云集的东北部,女性博士后的收入要低1710美元左右;在西部和中西部,两者收入则大致相等。

造成这种男女差异的原因尚不清楚。McDowell说近年来他听到许多博士后说自己通过交涉谈判,得到了较高的工资。根据他的经验,这些主动谈判的多为男性,而且多来自美国或欧洲——这两大因素似乎让他们比来自世界其他地区的女性研究员更有优势。


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Paula Stephan是佐治亚州立大学的一名经济学家,同时在美国国家学院的多个委员会里任职,她对上述报告的发布以及研究人员的工作表示赞赏。“让大家都了解博士后的待遇很重要。”她还指出,目前仍有很多差异存在。报告只包含了1所私立大学的数据,而在另外51所公立大学中,一部分学校只提供了少数博士后的工资数据。“这无法反应整体情况。”她说。

McDowell希望通过提高博士后工资的透明度,让更多的研究人员在知情情况下去要求与自身价值相符的工资。他提到了美国国家学院在2018年发布的一份关于下一代研究人员的报告,报告建议将博士后的最低年薪设定为5万美元——McDowell认为这是个不错的起点。此外,他还希望根据所在地区的生活成本,适当调整博士后的工资水平。“相比博士后要完成的大量工作和他们需要投入的大量时间,目前的待遇仍然太低了,”他说,“他们本质上就是廉价的科学劳动力。”

Stephan参与编制了美国国家学院2018年的报告,多年来她一直认为美国的一些博士后待遇严重偏低。“在大部分院校里,博士后的待遇并未得到妥善的集中管理,”她说,“学校里有人会说他们能用很低的工资招到人。”

McDowell表示,如果更多的机构开始重视博士后,更多的博士后开始宣扬自己的价值,博士后的待遇就会提高,许多不平等也会减少。“根本原因在于没有改变的动力,”他说,“这项研究应该提供了一些动力。我们看到问题所在了。”

原文以Huge variations in US postdoc salaries point to undervalued workforce为标题

发布在2019年2月18日《自然》职业新闻上












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