TRU professors, along with their faculty association, find themselves in a tricky situation when it comes to pay.
Law professors contend that they should be paid more, and indeed there is precedent for this concept across the country.
A survey by Maclean’s magazine in 2008 shows that business and law professors make considerably more than those in areas such as literature or philosophy — and the gap has been growing.
According to the American Association of University Professors, the average full-time faculty salary for 2006-07 rose 3.8 per cent, which was higher than the inflation rate of 2.5 per cent.
The study noted, though, that the big increase may have been an attempt to make up for previous years when raises were below the inflation rate.
Even so, most professors in Canada don’t have much to complain about when it comes to how much they’re paid.
In 2010-11, the average full-time professor earned $115,513 — more than twice as much as the average full-time employee in Canada who earned $50,000, according to Maclean’s, citing Statistics Canada.
But while it’s true that law professors generally make more than other professors, it’s also true that the amount varies greatly depending on where they work.
The Maclean’s survey for 2010-11 showed that median salaries for all professors ranged from $136,483 at the University of Toronto to $67,229 at Trinity Western University.
Just a few rungs from the bottom was TRU at $84,231.
In fact, many of the universities at the bottom of the list were former community colleges or university colleges. TRU and several other institutions in B.C. received full university status as a result of lobbying to enhance their reputation and allow the conferring of degrees.
We’re discovering now that the downside of being a full-fledged university is that faculty members are now comparing their pay with colleagues at other universities in Canada.
And if they don’t feel they are being paid enough, the brightest among them will turn to greener pastures. In the case of law professors, a career at a law firm could be more lucrative in many cases.
With all these competing interests, TRU will have to find a balance that keeps everyone happy. It won’t be easy.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by publisher Tim Shoults, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.