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Where have all the physicists gone?A Report on the demise of Summer Session budgets at PSU

Executive Summary
The PSU chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has conducted a study on the impact of PSU Summer Session budget cuts on PSU faculty and students. The report, entitled, Where have all the physicists gone? A report on the demise of Summer Session budgets at PSU uses quantitative data provided by the university budget office and qualitative data collected by AAUP to analyze how administrative changes in the way Summer Session budgets are calculated have affected PSU faculty and students.

As a result of administrative changes in Summer Session budgeting, fewer classes are being offered during Summer Term, and some faculty have experienced deep pay cuts.  In 2013, smaller summer session budgets resulted in a rash of class cancellations, more than seventy in total.  In 2014, large-scale class cancellations were avoided, but fewer classes were offered, and faculty in some departments were paid significantly less to teach.  Many faculty who did teach in summer 2014 were surprised to be offered a flat fee that no way reflected their standard rate of pay, a radical change from past practice.  Pay cuts hit the most experienced, tenure-line faculty the hardest.  Some of the largest overall cuts occurred in the College of Race, Gender and Nations and in various science departments.

Especially hurt by cancelled classes, some of which were completely full, were PSU students. Many of PSU’s working students and student parents have to take classes throughout the year to fit their budgets, or take classes that are prerequisites for programs they plan to enter in fall. Others return home from other institutions and pick up a summer class or two while working a summer job.   Smaller budget allocations mean that departments are no longer offering a full array of courses making it difficult for many PSU students to get the classes they need to graduate on time.

Summer Session is a long-standing tradition at PSU, sometimes called “our once award winning program” of the university. While Summer Session is not a part of the AAUP contract, union officials will be looking at ways to help PSU administrators better understand the real impact of Summer Session cuts so that faculty and students are not left in the lurch in the future.

Where have all the physicists gone?A Report on the demise of Summer Session budgets at PSU


PSU Progress Survey

How PSU Prioritizes Its Money

New Study: Dramatic Differences in Growth of PSU Administrators and Faculty Positions and Salaries, 2002 – 2012
In a study based commissioned by the PSU-AAUP, using data provided by PSU’s HR Department to the PSU Library, staff from the Center for Labor Research and Studies at FIU found sharply divergent trends for investments in administrative positions and salaries vs. faculty positions and salaries over the past ten years.

PSU Exec Admin Numbers and Salaries Soar
The number of Executive Administrators at the level of Asst. Dean and above grew by 65% over the past decade, from 31 to 51.

Between 2002 and 2012, after adjusting for inflation

  •             President’s salary on E & G funds rose 90%
  •             Provost’s salary shot up by 46%
  •             Vice Provosts’ average salaries leapt by 43%.
  •             Vice Presidents’ average salaries rose by 29%
  •             Associate Vice Presidents’ average salaries grew by 19%
  •             Assistant Vice Presidents’ average salaries increase by 23%

Faculty Salaries Lag over the same period

Over the same period, the already high student/full-time faculty ratio worsened, and faculty salaries lagged, even falling for some categories.

Between 2002 and 2012, after adjusting for inflation, on average

  •             Tenured Full Professors’ salaries rose 6%
  •             Tenured Associate Professors’ salaries fell by 1%.
  •             Tenure-Track Assistant Professors’ salaries grew by 1%
  •             Fixed Term Assistant Professors’ salaries rose by 8%
  •             Fixed Term Senior Instructors’ salaries grew by 1%
  •             Fixed Term Instructors’ salaries fell by 7%
  •             Academic Professionals’ salaries fell by 3%

For the full results of the survey, click here.
For the executive summary of the survey, click here.