University should examine disparity in lecturer salary

A report by Chico State’s faculty union chapter is calling on the university to think twice about how it pays its lecturers.

The report, which was presented at an Academic Senate meeting Oct. 31, points out that Chico State has more lecturers than other California State University campuses in the lowest pay range.

These faculty members, classified as “Lecturer L’s,” are paid at most $3,386 per month, less than any other lecturer at Chico State.

poorteacherThe report goes on to say that Chico State is keeping 17 percent of its lecturers at the lowest pay grade possible. That’s almost triple the systemwide average of six percent.

A letter accompanying the report request that the university review the qualifications of all its lecturers to determine if they are being paid fair salary.

The CFA’s call for the university to conduct a full audit of its lecturers makes perfect sense. If Chico State is indeed underpaying qualified faculty members, then the audit will reveal this disparity and ensure that everyone is paid what they’re worth.

And if the audit reveals that Chico

State’s faculty are paid an equitable salary commensurate with their professional qualifications, so much the better. The faculty and administrators at our university will benefit from undergoing a stock-taking process that is rooted in transparent and fairness.

The only way this situation can go unresolved is if the university does not take the steps necessary to ensure that faculty have a decent salary.

Moving forward, the faculty and administrators must work together to make sure that Chico State is an institution that prizes faculty morale and excellence.

If it doesn’t, other universities that pay their faculty fairly will draw away the most qualified professors from our classrooms.

Academic success hinges on a university that gives an equitable experience at all levels of operations, be it students, faculty or staff.


Illustration by Liz Coffee.