Explaining Southern California's economy

California colleges top professor pay in survey

Professor Salaries

Chronicle of Higher Education

Two California colleges pay their professors top 20 salaries.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, California has two colleges in the top 20 of average faculty compensation for 2011-12.

Full professors at Caltech make $172,800 per year, while full profs at UCLA make $162,600.

This puts full professors at both admittedly quote prestigious institutions at or very near the highest U.S. income quintile, as defined by the Tax Policy Center.

For the record, both California schools are in the lower half of the top 20. Harvard is number one, with full professors who earn $198,400.

I was curious about which schools full professors finished at the bottom of the survey. That would be Villa Maria College of Buffalo, at $42,200. Strangely, associate professors there make $49,300. Things get weird at the bottom. However, these professors are still solidly in the third U.S. income quintile. They're also right about at the median for U.S. individual wages, roughly $44,000.


Recent college grad who went to expensive college concludes that college is still worth it!

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Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Students throw their mortarboards in the air during their college graduation.

Here's a strange yet useful report, from the LA Times' Money & Company blog. Sarah Millar, "now gainfully employed as a research analyst at ConvergEx Group in New York," but a recent graduate of Trinity College (class of 2011) has produced, all on her own, a report analyzing whether college is worth the increasingly higher price. 

I can't track down the actual report, nor determine where the LAT got it, so I'll have to trust them on this one when they excerpt Millar's conclusion: "The bottom line of this analysis is that college pays, literally and figuratively," Millar writes.

Money & Company indicates that Millar has researched all the right government and private sources. Millar's LinkedIn profile does indicate that she's been working at ConvergEx for a few months, so it's safe to assume that she's at least somewhat trained in data analysis. Bit before landing the job, she labored as a manager at something called Johnson's Popcorn. I'm going to assume it was part-time and summers.