Mary Pride’s informed prediction of technology’s radical transformation of higher education (“Hire Education,” September 1994) incorrectly noted that I advocated “cutting professors’ salaries.” In How Professors Play the Cat Guarding the Cream: Why We’re Paying More and Getting Less in Higher Education (George Mason University Press, 1992), I lacked the courage to invoke spousal rage by calling for less pay. I demanded more work.
Differential faculty teaching loads is one of seven reforms designed to help universities do a better job at less cost. The mechanism for this reform is performance accounting, which measures teaching, research, administration, and service to the community. Some professors teach more hours, others fewer to meet a departmental mandate. One reason for universities’ poor productivity is the false assumption that when teaching hours are reduced for everyone in a department there will be a corresponding increase in everyone’s research productivity. The differential scholarly contributions of some cannot compensate for the equal teaching loads of all.
But who cares? Faculty resistance to accountability is a reckless invitation to professor-bashers to phase out the academic fortification and job security of tenure. Let the next generation of scholars suffer the insecurities of contract employment!
—Richard M. Huber