Description of proposal at St. Mary’s College in Maryland to establish a salary plan that would tie ALL employees’ (faculty, administrators, presidents) salaries to the wages received by the lowest paid full time employees.
August 25, 2014
Colleges Could Narrow the Income Gap on Campuses
Growing inequality threatens our society.
A few years ago, such a provocative claim might have had limited support beyond a public park in lower Manhattan. Today a rising tide of voices warns of the ill effects of the increasing concentration of wealth and income. The warnings come from academics like Thomas Piketty, politicians like Sen. Elizabeth A. Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and, at times, President Obama. Now even the self-described “zillionaire” Nick Hanauer, in a recent Politico article, implores us to avoid what he characterizes as an impending rush of pitchforks.
At St. Mary’s College of Maryland, a public honors college, a group of faculty and staff members, students, and alumni have put together a proposal that would permanently cap the growing ratio between the top and bottom earners on the campus. The St. Mary’s Wages plan would establish a benchmark minimum salary for the lowest-paid full-time employees that would rise with inflation. Tenure-track faculty members would make at least twice that benchmark. Different groups of workers (for example, associate professors, professional-staff members) would be guaranteed wages above specified fixed multiples of the lowest salary.