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English Lit Salaries 2010-2011

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Please indicate the following: School size, rank/position, starting salary, teaching load, geographical region, urban/rural, misc comments.

Please specify as well candidate status and job level: ABD, Post-Doc, TT, non-TT, starting Assistant, advanced Assistant, Associate, etc. since these factors influence salary levels too.

Would be interesting to see gender given that everyone says women receive lower initial offers and are less likely to negotiate!

For example: Research I, starting assistant prof., $54k, 2/3, midwest, small city, negotiated up from $53k

AY 2010-2011 English Lit SalariesEdit

Public, R1, Assistant professor, 60, 000 + $4000 Moving, $5000 stratup, $2500/ Year for travel, 2/2, Full time non-tenure track position for spouse.

Public, R1, assistant prof (TT), $61 + $3000 moving + $9000 start up, 2/2.

Public, state college system, middle-sized, assistant prof 2, TT, $58K + $1500 moving + $1000 start-up + mac book, 4/4, Eastern, outside of major city, negotiated: salary, start-up, mac; female

Private SLAC, starting assistant prof (TT), $45K + $2000 moving + notebook & printer + $1800 professional dev fund/year, 4/4, Eastern, small town, negotiated: salary, laptop, moving; female

Private SLAC, starting assistant prof (TT), $44K + $3000 moving + notebook + $1000 professional dev. fund/year, 4/4, Midwestern, small town, negotiated salary (only a bit!), male

Private SLAC, assistant prof (2 yrs. VAP experience), TT, $60K, moving expenses N/A, no start-up $, 3/3, in major East coast city, no negotiations, female.

Private R1, starting assistant prof, $62k +moving+summer salary+$15k startup, 2/2, Midwest, no negotiation, male.

  • What do you mean by "summer salary"? Is it a salary for summer teaching, or a salary for the summer before you begin? Thanks!

Private R1, starting assistant prof, $62k, $3K moving, $1.5K startup + standard $1.5K yearly professional development funds, laptop + area library privileges, 2/2, major east coast city, negotiation w/ salary & startup, female.

Public R1, adv. assistant prof., $57k + moving + 8,000 start-up; 3/3, in major east coast city, some negotiation w. salary and moving, male.

Public R1, starting assist prof TT, $52K + $9K start-up/moving, $3K dev fund/year, 2/2, minor southern city, some negotiation

  • Question: What exactly does start-up money go toward and how do you negotiate it? I'm unfamiliar with the whole concept, sadly...thanks, grad school mentors.
    • A: "Start-up" funds, in my understanding, are meant to go toward helping you establish a research profile. They can be used to fund conference travel, buy a computer (if that is not alreay included in the deal), buy books, etc. Sometimes if schools can't add more to the salary in negotiations, they will offer more initial start-up money instead. Anyway, that's my experience -- I'm sure there are other variants out there. . .
    • Often start-up funds are made available over the course of the first three years and are used for summer research travel (time in the archives, you know)
    • Think of it as a signing bonus, since it seems to come in the form of a check and you can do whatever the heck you want with it.

Public R1, starting assistant prof. (TT), $64k + $5k moving + $10k start-up, 2/2 (first year 1/2), computer, $1000/yr. travel/research; midatlantic city, some negotiation on start-up and moving, male.

Private Midwestern R1, starting TT asst prof, $55 K, $4K moving, $10 K start-up over 2 years, computer, very limited travel funds, 2/2. negotiated salary a bit, female.

Private SLAC, starting asst. prof. (TT), 47K + $2000 moving, 2 conferences/year prof. development (airfare, fees, per diem), 4/4, Midwestern, small town, no negotiations, male.

Private SLAC, starting asst. prof., 67.5k + summer teaching salary or 7k summer research stipend + 2k moving, computer, 2.5k conference travel budget, 3/3, East Coast close to several major cities. It's a dream job, so I didn't bother negotiating, male.

Private LAC, starting asst. prof. (TT), 1 yr VAP experience, 52K + $3000 moving, $1500 1st yr travel/prof development; $800/yr after that, computer, avail. of summer teaching or $4k jr faculty dev. grants, 3/3, Midwestern city. Negotiations failed. Female.

Public R1, starting asst. prof (TT), PhD 2010, 56k + 5k start-up + 3k summer benefits + 3k moving + office and computer + travel/research for two conferences/year + teaching instructorship for spouse. 2/2. west coast. female.

Private SLAC, asst. prof (TT), 3 yrs VAP experience, $55K, moving, $5K prof development 1st yr, $1K/yr after that, computer, $2K start-up, 3/3 (2/3 first yr), Western close to large city. Negotiated house hunting trip. female.

Private SLAC, asst. prof (TT), 67.5 + moving + start-up + annual research + conference + computer, 2/2, female.

Private teaching-focused university, asst. prof (TT), 3 years VAP/lecturer exp., 3/3, $52K (negotiated up), $2000 startup + $1500 for computer, & $700/year for travel

Public teaching-focused university, starting asst. prof (TT), $52.3K + computer + $1300/year travel + free tuition for family. 4/4 (3/3 prep), midwest, rural. negotiated course release in first year (4/3). female.

Research-oriented European (urban), starting asst. prof (TT), 1 year prior adjunct experience. $48K + free housing + approx. $2K/yr travel + $1.5K moving. 2/2 load. Female. Did not try to negotiate salary.

Questions / CommentsEdit

4/1: If you're interested in more information on academic salaries, my friend and I have posted some surveys of professors' salaries by the AAUP and The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources on our blog, . You can search the various databases by rank, field, and region. We also linked a few other salary resources, academic and otherwise, on the blog.

3/18 *I noticed that practically no one tried to get a spousal hire or spousal assistance. Is this b/c most of you don't have to worry about a dual career situation or b/c it just isn't feasible in this market?

  • Well, spousals in this market and time are very iffy affairs. I began with asking for a TT position for my spouse (outstanding researcher, R1 school, supervisor = a stalwart in humanities: basically no slouch or leech) but, from the outset, the Chair was clear: no TT now nor possibility of one in spouse's area anytime soon. So then it was a matter of negotiating something that would bring a salary and teaching experience, and we finally agreed to a term lectureship (basically, sessional work, just slightly higher pay than per course calculations) renewable every year for three years. What happens after 3 years? Chair and I stayed implicit on that: 1) Spouse might find job elsewhere that also accepts me; ergo, we leave; 2) I find another job that takes spouse as TT; ergo, we leave. Based on my limited interaction, I do like this Univ. a great deal (faculty and students), so it would be a real pity to leave, but we have to watch out for ourselves, while we still can.
  • Thanks for this very interesting post. I agree, spousals are almost impossible in this market but it sounds like you negotiated really well considering. Is the univ. in question a R1? Your spouse sounds like a good pick, too; is he/she ABD or a post-doc? I have a partner who is an Asst Prof at a R1, so my situation is difficult. Hard to convince a univ. to offer my partner a TT position, but spouse couldn't become a lecturer now. Not feasible. Uggh. Congrats on your job by the way!
  • Thanks! My spouse is a recent PhD and yes, the univ. in q is R1 too. Yours sounds like a tough situ to be in. In fact, there should be no reason to go from TT to lower, EVER; but then, of course, one is looking down the barrel of a long-distance marriage/relationship. What I don't get is why universities will not understand that an unhappy employee is no good for anyone, and where an academic couple is top-notch, doesn't the Univ. gain by making sure there is a reason to keep both around, in some form or the other? I know from a friend that a different uni (also R1 and with a lower annual budget than mine) accepted two scholars on a gradational 1.5 TT hire on 50% pay-sharing basis, ensuring that in the 5th year they both became full-pay TT, and ready to be tenured. Maybe, you could try that formula somewhere: it was posted somewhere on the venting page. Here it is: " both hired at 50%, then they rotated gaining 25% over 4 years (year one, both at 50%; year two, one at 50 and one at 75; year three, both at 75%; year four, one at full-time and one at 75%; year five, both at full time)." Good luck!
  • Oh wow, I wonder who came up with that forumla? How complicated! But that's great for them; at least they will be able to stay together and work toward tenure and both be employed. I imagine a situation like that would make for an anxious household over time, as both worried about pleasing the faculty, but it is no worse than mine where we are both always on the market, living apart, and/or tired of living on one Asst. Prof. salary. Unfortunately, my next interview is at a SLAC, so I doubt spousal help in any respect will even be an option, but I am just going to go into it with an open mind. My partner has expressed the same sentiments about unhappy employees at current R1 institution but they are indifferent and would rather hire outsiders than fully qualified, even over qualified, spouses. It is very frustrating!
  • Not to be a downer, but it's well known within the field that marrying another academic while in grad school, especially in your own field, is a sure way to make the job search nigh impossible. Some places do spousal hires, but over all, it looks bad for the university since it's obvious nepotism (e.g. they are not doing a real search in the spouse's area). Once you're established, things might be different ("star power" etc.), but to assume that you'll be able to find two jobs at one school right out of grad school, especially in the same field is crazy.

3/5 *Has anyone been offered a TT job in NYC (but not at top schools like NYU or Columbia) for the fall? What was the offered salary and were you able to negotiate? TIA.

I accepted a TT job in NJ that would have allowed me to live in NYC (some faculty there do), but I'm going to move to Philly instead. I'm starting at $67.5k, and didn't worry about negotiating.

  • I accepted a TT job in NYC for $60K. I didn't negotiate this--for several reasons, one being that I have a partner (so, dual income)--but it's perfectly reasonable to try to negotiate salary. This is true anywhere, but esp. in NYC where rent is so high. Provosts and other higher-ups in NYC schools are fully aware of the rent situation and won't bat an eye if you try to negotiate. (3/8)
  • Was your position at one of the CUNY colleges? Sounds on par with their offers.

3/5 *Have people been negotiating salary at all, or just the other items? I'm completely new to this! I was told by the department chair immediately that the salary was non-negotiable b/c the whole university was on a salary freeze. So I didn't try. But they were very receptive to proposals for various one-off research/tech/travel funds, which they wrapped into a large start-up package. Which is great, but I saw somewhere that a 1k salary hike at the start results in an 85k difference over the course of a 37-year career, assuming a 4% annual increase (of course, if inflation averages 4% too, it's really not that much of a difference).

  • Actually it's the same difference, since you'd be -85K without it. But the point remains that there are other things to be had than a higher salary, such as start-up or research grant, course-release, early first sabbatical, etc..

3/11 *To those who negotiated, what mediums did you use? Did you telephone with your requests or write an email? Which method is more effective?

  • I believe that negotiations almost always happen over the phone. That was certainly my experience. I can imagine some kinds of follow-up details handled over email, but I think at this stage in the game, you're mostly dealing with the Chair (and/or possibly other admin type) in phone conversations.

FYI: Just for comparison and contrast, here are the listings for AY 2010-11 Rhet-Comp Jobs:

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