ALBUQUERQUE – Salaries for professors at New Mexico’s largest university rank among the lowest in the nation and school officials have said that is hurting the college’s efforts to retain professors and attract new ones.
More than half of the engineering faculty at the University of New Mexico would need raises to reach the 25th percentile for pay nationally, the Albuquerque Journal reports .
And 80 percent of professors in the university’s College of Fine Arts earn less than 25 percent of the national average, according to data from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.
University of New Mexico President Garnett Stokes said the salary disparities leave the school vulnerable to professor poaching.
“Our faculty who are at the junior level are often picked off before we can even get them into the tenure process,” the president said during the board’s September meeting.
Records show the school’s assistant professor ranks have fallen by 26 percent since fiscal year 2015.
The university’s main campus faculty numbers have fallen 9.2 percent in the last four years.
Assistant professor losses are driving the decrease, falling to 194 from 263, records show. Stokes attributed that to financial conservatism in lean budget years.
“They recruit these wonderful young people and they don’t take care of them,” Faculty Senate President Pamela Pyle said in an interview. “To have a high exodus of assistant professorships is not a sign of a healthy workplace, because if they’re attracted to a job and kept there positively, they’re not in a hurry to leave.”