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American colleges and universities stand in danger of "losing out in the competition for the best brains among the young men" become of the current low scale of salaries paid to professors, states Sumner H. Slichter, Lamout University Professor, in an article published in the last issue of the Bulletin of the American Association of Professors.
There is a financial crisis in higher education; new means of support have to be developed and the present waste of manpower must be halted," he declared yesterday in a discussion of the article. "It is a fact that the salaries of professors have fallen behind the industrial workers' rise in wages, and behind the increase in the cost of living."
Scores Low Tuition Rates
Professor Slichter suggests basic reforms in the handling of college and university finances to insure participation of the faculty. He cites low tuition rates as a factor contributing to the financial problem, and points out that although "never in the country's history has the community been better able to support education and scientific research," tuition in many institutions in no higher than it was before the war. The maintenance of these pre-war rates, he has found, has been made possible "largely by making no increases or only small and tardy increases in the salaries of professors."
Chiding the professors for their failure to bring the problem squarely before school authorities, Professor Slichter advances a program of action which sets as its goal a minimum salary of $6,000 a year for full professors, and wages of $5,000 and $3,500 for associates and assistants respectively, and a 50 percent increase above the 1940 scale for all three groups, a rise which be suggests be boosted to 75 percent within the next three years. "There is no prospect at the moment," he states, "that the cost of living in the immediate future will settle below 40 percent above pre-war."
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