Study: Kansas educators make less than peers in other states

teacher in college class

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – A study reveals that Kansas universities pay their instructors less compared to schools of the same size with similar programs in other states.

The latest figures from the Kansas Board of Regents show state university instructors who are full-time and spend at least half their time teaching made on average $13,796 less than instructors at comparable universities in the 2019 fiscal year.

In other words, instructors made 86 cents for each dollar their out-of-state peers earned. The previous year, Kansas faculty made 84 cents for every dollar paid to their peers, KCUR-FM reported.

Educators say state funding for universities has fallen behind rising education costs, and they say smaller paychecks make it harder to recruit and retain talented professors.

“We lose excellent candidates who don’t apply in the first place because our starting salaries are lower than our peers,” said Jeff Jarman, the Faculty Senate president at Wichita State University.

Wichita State’s provost, Rick Muma, blamed the pay gap on state funding.

“We lose faculty every year who can go to another institution and make $20,000 more,” Muma said.

University of Kansas educators make significantly more than those at the other Kansas schools – $94,600 on average. But they have one of the largest gaps in the state between their salaries and those working at colleges they think are similar.

Indiana University and the University of Buffalo in New York pay their instructors in the six figures, on average. Michigan State University faculty earn $22,000 more on average than those at KU.