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  • Originally published 08/09/2013

    L. Maren Wood: ‘The Afternoon I Decided to Leave Academe’–and What Happened Next

    L. Maren Wood earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the founder and lead researcher of Lilli Research Group, a small education-consulting firm in the Washington, D.C., metro area. She will be blogging regularly for the Ph.D. Placement Project about nonacademic career issues for Ph.D.’s.Many Ph.D.’s who write about leaving academe knew it was not for them. I envy those people. I enjoyed being an academic, and I loved teaching. As a kid growing up, all I wanted to be was a teacher, and when I entered university, my career goal shifted to being a professor. When I decided to end my quest for a tenure-track job, I told a friend that, some day, I hoped I would enjoy whatever I ended up doing as much as I enjoyed teaching and being a historian.I will never forget the afternoon I decided to leave academe. I had just learned that I was second in line for a visiting assistant professorship, with a three-year contract and a 3-3 teaching load. We were well into the summer, and this was my last hope of a job for the following year. The pay was less than $40,000 a year; the hiring committee admitted to me that the salary was probably not enough to cover living expenses in the area.

  • Originally published 04/17/2013

    Gap widens for faculty at colleges, report finds

    For the academic elite — tenured professors at private research universities — average pay this year is $167,118, while at public research universities such professors earn $123,393, according to the annual report by the American Association of University Professors.After three years in which overall increases in full-time faculty pay lagged behind the rate of inflation, this year’s average increase, 1.7 percent, kept pace with consumer prices.But the difficult economic climate of recent years is taking a serious toll on higher education, especially public institutions. As states cut back their support for public institutions, the gap between the pay scales at private and public universities is continuing to grow, the report found. Average pay for assistant professors at private colleges that award only bachelor’s degrees is $62,763, while public colleges paid $58,591....

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