Eagle Forum's Education Reporter published an amazing article last month written by a professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. It might explain why college tuition is so expensive. This professor retired at age 64 and will receive 80% of his highest salary for life, plus a generous health insurance plan, a guaranteed 3% annual salary increase, several other perks, and an opportunity to teach as an emeritus professor at $8000 per course, which works out to $200 an hour.
These benefits mean the taxpayers will give this professor in retirement double what he received in the years when he was working, and all these goodies are guaranteed by the Illinois Constitution. When he was on the job as a professor, he taught only two courses at a time. That's six hours of lecture a week, only on Tuesdays and Thursdays at convenient midday times. He taught occasional seminars, but they required no real work; he could just sit back and let the graduate students do the talking. Even for this so-called work, he only had to show up 30 weeks out of the year. He didn't have to show up during 3 months in summer, a month in December, a week in the spring, or all the usual holidays. Every 6 years, he got a sabbatical semester and didn't have to work at all, but still received full pay. He had teaching assistants or graduate students to do the tedious task of grading exams and papers.
The biggest perk of all is tenure. That means he had no fear of unemployment. He could conveniently plan his vacations and his future, and his retirement was always secure. Some people complain that college professors are underpaid. But this professor pointed out that hardly any professor ever resigns to take a nonacademic job in the private sector, and there are always over 100 applicants for any job opening in the Sociology department. Maybe paying professors for so little work is why college tuition costs so much.
Listen to the radio commentary here: