Thursday, June 10, 2010

Revised Penn State Right-To-Know Report 2010: Background Information Part I

I thought that while we are waiting for Friday's document dump I'd provide some context and background information to help people analyze whatever Old Main decides to give us.

As of yesterday, we know that Penn State will acknowledge in its revised RTK report that there are two family members of influential people at the Penn State who either received payment from the University for a business transaction or who are employed by and received compensation from the  University in fiscal year 2007-2008.Graham's wife Sandra, an English prof, as I've already reported, will certainly be one of these individuals. Whatever amount she is payed, the question will arise, is it too much or too little? Here's your context for answering that question.

According to the 2009 Stairs Reports,  during the 2007-2008 fiscal year  there were 155 full professors in the College of Liberal Arts and the average salary of the full professors was $124,316. Unfortunately, the Stairs reports don't give anymore information on the salary distribution. Hence, it will difficult based on this to determine if Sandra's salary is extremely small or large unless it is way out of line. Fortunately for us, each year the University Faculty Senate issues a report on faculty salaries which does contain some additional information on  salary distributions.  Here's data for the full professors in the College of Liberal Arts for the Fall of 2008.(PDF page 16)
  • Number=158
  • First Quartile=101,373
  • Median=121,860
  • Third Quartile=150,120
  • Average years in rank=9.8
There's about a $50k spread in the middle of the distribution. If Sandra's  salary is substantial more than $50k above  the third quartile or below the first quartile  that would be a pretty good indication of an extreme salary and a reason to start looking for answers from Old Main.

There is a complication because these numbers are  college-wide.  The distribution  within the English department will be different. But this should only matter if her salary is on the boarder between extreme or not.

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