Maybe if they gave us profs big raises, we’d become more conservative

You know how Turning Point USA has a McCarthyite list of academics they don’t like, and also publishes the salaries of those faculty? I guess it’s to make citizens outraged at how much money they’re paying to support radicals in the ivory tower. Just to put it all in perspective, though:

Those football coaches are probably more conservative than the professors, though, so that makes it all OK.

I thought about it some more. It’s not going to work. There are 1½ million professors in the US. If some filthy rich multibillionaire decided to try and influence us all by sinking a billion dollars into bribing us that would only be $666 each, in a one-time investment in one year.

Suddenly it all makes sense. Far cheaper to buy a few influencers, give them a prop fake university — a Prager U or some right wing think tank — and get them to spend all their time promoting pseudo-intellectualism to the rubes. In case you were wondering what the Intellectual Dark Web is actually all about.


  1. joeeggen says

    Isn’t it funny* how most non-academic professionals would look at the length of your education/training, your years of experience, and still be insulted if they received half of your salary? I know you’re in the midwest (I’m from there, too), but come on, right?
    * Sometimes, you have to make a choice between bitter tears and ironic laughter.

  2. Akira MacKenzie says


    That’s because they’ve fallen for the line that THEY are doing the “real” work while academics are useless, naval-gazing, eggheads. Remember folks, knowledge is only worth pursuing if it makes someone money!

  3. Dunc says

    You have got to be shitting me.

    You do realise that in most of the civilised world, universities don’t even have football coaches, right? Football is not generally regarded as a tertiary-level subject.

  4. Akira MacKenzie says

    Dunc @ 4:

    Priorities! From big-spending alumni to high-school dropouts, crypto-professional sportsball is the only way most people in this country pay attention to higher education. Everyone loves to watch academically unqualified, unpaid athletes destroy their bodies in exchange for the astronomically slim hope of getting into the NFL! For many colleges it’s their primary source of revenue. There’s no money in that egghead stuff! You want to rack in the bucks, you better have a good football team and good coaches don’t come cheap!

  5. says

    How does graduate student compare with “squeegee guy”?

    The masters of the world want their subject to be weak and foolish. Pink Floyd’s “Sheep” is a documentary.

  6. says

    For many colleges it’s their primary source of revenue.

    Actually, most of the ivy league could operate indefinitely on the interest from their endowments, if they just stopped spending it on stupid things. For example, Johns Hopkins in Baltimore keeps buying real estate and building more buildings so they can avoid being profitable; that way they minimize their contribution to Baltimore’s tax base.

    Ironically, the Republicans are right that a lot of universities are scams. They’re just Republican-style tax scams, not hotbeds of socialism.

  7. Akira MacKenzie says

    Marcus Ranum @ 9

    Sorry, my previous rant was the picked-upon-and-beaten-up-by-jocks-in-high-school side of me wanting to get his two-cents in.

  8. says

    Seeing this made me wonder if a certain Canadian professor, initials JP, isn’t running around talking about lobsters and all meat diets because he’s figured out how much more money he can make as a talking head, while holding on to his professor gig for when the marks lose interest.

  9. stwriley says

    They just forgot to label it. It’s there, it’s just indistinguishable from the X axis line.

    Actually, given the level of student loan debt that most adjuncts carry, it should probably be below the x-axis line.

  10. cartomancer says

    I’ve often wondered about this. What exactly is it that causes this situation? I mean, why does a university pay a hefty chunk of a million pounds to a PE teacher every year? What is that meant to achieve? Is it some kind of blatant sinecure they give to people who are trying to cream money off the university? Is there some kind of legal or tax loophole that lets them do this to enrich their corrupt friends?

    Because I would have thought that a university could find much better ways of spending the best part of a million pounds per year. I really, really don’t understand why this happens in America. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

  11. says

    Alumni donors are a big part of it. Every university has a staffed office dedicated to coaxing alumni to give them money, or leave a big chunk in the will, and what do rich people want? Not to endow a poet, but to have their name in big bold letters on a stadium.

    One reason they’re important to an outsized degree is that state governments have been starving their colleges.

  12. microraptor says

    Is it true that football programs are a net drain on the schools, or is that only for high schools and cities that build NFL stadiums?

  13. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    It’d be interesting to see how the median coach’s salary compares to the average. Having gone to a (bad (in football)) Division 3 school as an undergrad, and a school that puts more stock in basketball as a grad student, I suspect there’s a skewed distribution there.

    Also, I suspect there’s a similar story to tell about men’s basketball coaches (though perhaps not quite so extreme).

  14. annetaylor says

    I remember the outrage generated a few decades back, when a particular state-supported university slashed its library budget to buy new stadium lights for the upcoming, televised-football season. Promises to replace the funds were mouthed and an ‘OH Do Shut-up!’ attitude was taken when those funds didn’t materialize later.

    I vowed not to apply to Big F*cking Sports Programs for education or employment anymore and have been hanging with the Wheezing Dorks ever since. (Of course, we have stellar athletes here, but that’s not why they’re here.)


  15. Reginald Selkirk says

    Marcus Ranum #9: Actually, most of the ivy league … For example, Johns Hopkins

    The Ivy League is not a general term for stodgy eastern colleges. It is an actual entity. Member institutions of the Ivy League are Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton and Yale. Johns Hopkins is not a member.
    Synonym: the Ancient Eight

  16. microraptor says

    So while we’re on the subject, how much sense does it make for a dean to make that much over a tenured professor?

  17. cartomancer says

    Going along with the notion that you actually want a top-class PE teacher for your seat of higher learning, because reasons… do you actually need to pay them such a vast sum? If you paid them, say, what you pay the professoriate, would you not be able to find anyone to do the job just as well?

    What exactly is it about this position that makes it so specialised? I mean, sure, I couldn’t do it, because I hate physical activity of all kinds, but I doubt it’s an especially skilled task to undertake. No more skilled than a PE teacher in a secondary school, that’s for sure, and they seem to get enough of those with the mediocre pay on offer. Are there only seven or eight people who are qualified for this job in the entire United States, and all the universities are clamouring for those people so much that they’re willing to flush away entire departmental budgets each year to pay them?