Follow the money

You know how I keep expressing astonishment at the way C H Sommers has gone from being an academic to being a shameless hack. It occurred to me to wonder if it’s just a simple matter of being better paid as a hack. Having wondered that, I decided to see if I could compare her salary as an academic to her salary as a hack for the American Enterprise Institute.

The bulk of her teaching career was at Clark University; she was an Associate Professor when she left to be a scholar at AEI. Clark reports the salary for associate profs to be $107,580.

The 990 tax form for the AEI reports some scholars’ salaries but not all.


That lists Gary Schmitt, John Bolton, Charles Murray, Thomas Donnelly, and Frederic Hess as scholars. Their salaries range from $170,500 to $178,500. It seems safe to conclude that Sommers’s pay is in that range or lower (as a more recent hire).

So…maybe 60 or 70 thousand more. Worth having, certainly, but it hardly seems enough to motivate palling around with the MRA crowd.

On the other hand…there’s no teaching. It’s in DC. It’s among a bunch of like-minded reactionary lobbyists as opposed to a bunch of PC liberal academics. All that and a 2/3 bump in pay. Maybe it’s worth it.


  1. nonlinear feedback says

    Waitasec. AEI employs that Charles Murray? “The Bell Curve” Charles Murray? C H Sommers is palling around with some really awful people, isn’t she.

  2. says

    I found out. They’re both right. Or rather, they’re both “right”. The 80,000 figure is what they’re actually paid, for a 9 month teaching year. Then Clark is extrapolating that out to 12 months if – IF, as in NOT – they were being paid at the same rate for 12 months. Of course, this also assumes that all their time out of the teaching term is basically goofing off, because of course no college profs do any study pertaining to their teaching during their off hours.

    Misleading at best. I’d say dishonest myself.

    Here’s a link which has specifics:

  3. Donnie says

    The fact that their list if “top conservative colleges” are all religious based colleges focused solely on ‘Merica, traditional values, smaller government, free entreprise and the goodly ‘Merica things and not anything else.

    Essentially, glorified “finishing schools” for creating parrots……

  4. lorn says

    The pay is just the beginning of the emoluments possible. Serve them well and you may be offered premium healthcare for self and/or family, a plush (show up, travel expenses comped, four times a year for several $100,000) seat on a corporate board, a no to low-show job for spouse or relative with a corporate sponsor of the think tank, perhaps a well timed (and completely anonymous) stock tip that turns out to be a lucrative sure thing, a sweetheart deal (with generous advance) for that book you have been writing (complete with a gentleman’s agreement that it will sell at least one million copies), a seat on a study committee that will spend several months ( leisurely and all first-class) crossing Europe as part of a tax deductible “fact-finding” effort, …

    The possibilities for wingnut welfare are unlimited.

    The one limit, albeit a soft and porous limit, is the question of what can be deducted from taxes as a business expense by a highly trained and creative army of accountants and consultants. The services of that army of accountants and consultants is, of course, deductible.

  5. Hj Hornbeck says

    anthrosciguy @7:

    She also gets $3,000-5,000 for speaking engagements, which she’s likely to do much more of by being an anti-feminist.

    She also picks up revenue from her books. Sommers has seven listed on her Wikipedia page, three of which were published by AEI themselves, and one is a textbook. Some of the Amazon reviews are worth a read:

    Sommers’s contention that women and men are “different but equal” is a code for believing that all the convenient stereotypes about women are true: they are more caring, more nurturing, they mostly want to stay at home and be moms; they don’t really care much about careers, etc, etc and wouldn’t they just be happier accepting their “differences.” The problem with this is she is basically making it up. The consensus among serious social scientists who do gender research (the ones Sommers clearly didn’t consult) is that the differences between women and men are not nearly as great as the average person imagines. There is almost certainly a small genetic component but it is less than the contributions of multitudes of cultural, family, and individual environmental influences. If Sommers bothered to look at anthropological gender research, she would also find much more variation in gedner roles than she seems to think there is. I know because gender research is one of my academic specialties and I taught Psychology of Women for many years.

    What Sommers is really doing is, as Cathy Reisenwitz pointed out in the in her review of this book on Facebook, pouring new wine (her “freedom feminism”) into old bottles (women are significantly different than men and they shouldn’t complain and try to be more than they are). Her book is highly selective in its data; her interpretations are geared toward her ideological beliefs rather than what either history or social science actually says. Rather than being a step forward, this book is in fact two steps back. It has very little to offer to feminists or anyone other than those conservatives who want to continue to believe the stereotypes about women.

  6. Hj Hornbeck says

    Dang, I didn’t quote the most interesting part of that review:

    There is much more that I could criticize as inaccurate or distorted, for example, her peculiar defense of conservative Phyllis Schlafly who believes women belong in the home (though she herself is a lawyer).

    Now I’m tempted to loan a copy of “Freedom Feminism”…

  7. John Morales says

    On the other hand…there’s no teaching. It’s in DC. It’s among a bunch of like-minded reactionary lobbyists as opposed to a bunch of PC liberal academics. All that and a 2/3 bump in pay. Maybe it’s worth it.

    Put like that, it’s a no-brainer.

  8. Kevin Kehres says

    Well, no matter what anyone says, it’s damned difficult to work for an organization if you’re not aligned with their belief system, no matter how many Benjamins they throw at you.

    I once had the opportunity to interview for a reporting gig for one of the national tabloids. I would have been a HUGE increase in salary — they were offering 3 times what I was making at the time. But I decided against it because I wanted to be able to sleep at night. Self respect is worth more.

    For Sommers, it’s a win-win. She gets to be an anti-feminist asshole AND get paid swimmingly for it.

  9. wannabe says

    Donnie wrote:

    Essentially, glorified “finishing schools” for creating parrots……

    You mean patriots!


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