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July7, 2010

Vol. 110, No. 16

Pay for professors

In response to: In Brief

In reading the May 12 Notebook section, I was more than a little amazed by the sentence: “The average salary for full professors at Princeton increased just 0.4 percent this year (from $180,300 last year to $181,000), reflecting a trend of low salary increases for university faculty, according to the American Association of University Professors.”

What percentage of Americans were lucky enough to get any salary increases last year? I would contend that a much larger percentage got salary decreases instead or got laid off. With almost 10 percent unemployment nationwide, $181,000 per year is not too shabby by any measure. I think that one of the reasons why university professors are out of touch with the rest of the country is because, with their tenure and salaries, they are insulated from the version of life that ordinary Americans face.

Aaron Alter *77
Carlsbad, Calif.

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