The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Letter to the Editor: Faculty salary system needs attention

When, almost exactly six years ago, I took a 12-hour flight to interview at Guilford College, I realized very quickly that this could be the place where my traumatic experiences with an unjust academic institution and its administration in Jordan could begin to heal. And when I accepted the job, said goodbye to all I held dear, crossed the Atlantic Ocean and relocated my family nearly 6,000 miles, it was because I believed in the ideal and promise of Guilford College.

And I still do.

Thus, the issue of compensation at the College matters to me beyond the material. It matters to me because it is a stark representation of how we are failing to live up to our core values, the very heart of what makes Guilford special and worth fighting for.

When our faculty salaries are in the bottom percentiles compared to administrative salaries, which are in the middle and sometimes near the top, and when, in a supposed salary freeze, promoted faculty do not receive raises while promoted administrators do, we are failing to live up to our core values of Equality and Integrity.

When many associate professors are compensated less than the Guilford average for assistant professors of $50,000 and when an associate professor can be compensated less than an assistant professor in the same division or department, we are failing to live up to our core value of Justice.

When such compensation practices result in problems in recruiting and retaining excellent faculty who can maintain and sustain the rigor of the institution, we are failing to live up to our core value of Excellence and hence Stewardship of the College.

When colleagues are financially hurting because they are struggling to make ends meet — I can speak for myself as an associate professor who makes less than the above-mentioned College average for assistant professors and is the sole wage-earner and financial caretaker of a family of four — then we are failing to take care of our own and hence failing to live up to our core value of Community.

Let me be clear that the ideal and promise of Guilford are still alive and vibrant to me.  I experience them every day when I enter a classroom, speak with my colleagues, walk the beautiful grounds and engage with my students. My love for and commitment to Guilford are unflagging.

I am not special in this; so many at Guilford are like me. Such dedication and devotion should not be exploited.


Diya Abdo, chair and associate professor of English

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    David FrazierMay 2, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Thank you Diya for sharing your knowledge of the many discrepancies found at Guilford with regard to instructor salaries and administrative compensation packages. Culturally we give more to administrators because it is believed they are responsible for producing incoming monies via donations, etc. But, were it not for the incredibly devoted teachers there would be no college to raise money for. It’s time to stop devaluing our professors and putting the money where it belongs instead of giving it to retired administrators who teach one class and make full salaries while others give so much to several classes. Thank you for bringing awareness.

    David Frazier

  • F

    Florida FishingJul 31, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    This excellent website certainly has all of the
    information and facts I wanted about this subject and
    didn’t know who to ask.