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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Academic Altruism

Yesterday I talked to one of my advisers about the state of economy as a whole and our school's financial situation in particular. He told me, with pride, that, despite the global economic turmoil, the school is expecting to raise professors' pay by a few percent this year. And just a few days earlier I saw an article where it was announced that our school, once again, raises tuition. I asked him how he felt about struggling families being forced to pay even more despite that many of them are struggling financially. His response was like: "Well, this school is going to lose its top-notch faculty members if they stop paying well. For example, I constantly get good offers from other schools and if I the pay I get here doesn't satisfy me I may leave".

And then they tell doctoral students that people who decide to pursue PhD are not interested in money...


  1. I'm glad you liked it. What do you think about the tuition increase?

  2. In my opinion, that is the advantage of being an educator. Sometimes, I feel that those people who work in the hot field like in the enginering field etc, always face drastic changes in terms of retrenchment, salary increment etc, as compared to the education field.

    Human is selfish at the end, so do we. No matter in the academic area or whatsoever, still human at the end.....

  3. Yes, I feel the same way. Professors are no better than everyone else. But, they like to tell PhD students that professors are smarter, more honest, less materialistic, etc.

  4. Yes, I agree that many professors are not anywhere better than anyone else. I think the concept of being a professor change a lot over time. I used to show alot of respect to them, but not now any more.

  5. I'm in my second year of grad school. During our first year, we do rotations to find "the lab tha fits." I spoke with one potential PI that said he was planning to take his funding and find a better school if the one he's at won't hire his postdoc wife into a tenure track position. Nothing like putting your employer over a barrel to show your academic altruism.