Petersen announces hiring freeze at UT, defends Fulmer's appointment

University of Tennessee President John Petersen on Tuesday announced a mandatory hiring freeze and a moratorium on new academic programs while defending the appointment of former head football coach Phillip Fulmer.

But it's the Fulmer three-month appointment, at $12,500 a month, that drew the ire of a faculty leader.

UT faculty members are experiencing "considerable distress" over Fulmer's appointment as special assistant, Faculty Senate President John Nolt said Tuesday.

"We are at this moment in the middle of campus budget hearings in which we are contemplating laying off many of our nontenure-track faculty," Nolt said in an e-mail message. "This would result in severe course reductions next fall.

"The $37,500 salary that Peterson reportedly would pay Fulmer will pay for 300-400 student seats next year in courses taught by lecturers," Nolt continued.

"Even if Fulmer wound up raising a great deal of money for academics, this is still the wrong message for the system administration to be sending at this very bleak time."

Fulmer's primary role will be "enhancing and developing strategic relationships on behalf of UT," Petersen said Monday.

The appointment expires Feb. 28, and Fulmer will receive standard full-time employee benefits. His salary will be funded privately, according to UT. It is unclear whether donors earmarked money for the position.

It was not disclosed whether Fulmer will continue to have an official position with the university after February.

Petersen declined to respond to Nolt's comments, but he addressed Fulmer's hire in an e-mail message sent to faculty and staff Tuesday afternoon.

"Phillip Fulmer presents us with a unique opportunity to have someone who has brought national recognition in addition to deep, long-standing ties with the entire UT community," Petersen wrote. "He is paid through privately donated funds, and the expectation is that he will help the university raise money that would otherwise not be available to us. I hope you will join in wishing him well in his new role with the University of Tennessee."

Petersen's e-mail message, in preparation for up to $75 million in state budget cuts, puts a moratorium on new academic programs; freezes hiring, renovations, furniture and equipment purchases and nonessential travel; and starts a systemwide process for academic program review.

"We will be working closely together in the days ahead to achieve consistency across the system in how policies and procedures are implemented," Petersen wrote.

Petersen released a policy statement Nov. 21 titled "Application of Reduced Resources," which outlined restrictions imposed on the UT system, its campuses and institutes.

The plans for cost savings include developing a process for handling reductions in force, working with human-resources officials and the general counsel's office "to evaluate any potential adverse impact, provide appropriate advance training and support for managers and establish support services for affected staff," the policy states.

The policy also requires a "selective hiring process" where positions will be filled "in limited areas necessary for the continuity of critical teaching, research and support functions."

A nine-member Faculty Senate Task Force on Criteria and Procedures was formed to develop methods for evaluating possible program cuts, reductions or reallocations.

The task force will recommend criteria to the full Faculty Senate, which will make a final recommendation to the UT administration.

Chloe White may be reached at 865-342-6341.

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Comments » 58

gwbask writes:

First, OK I'm ready for the abuse LOL
Go Vols!!

BillVol writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

xvolx writes:

fulmer know something on peterson's wife.

chrisw2967 writes:

Fulmer just wont go away , Im not trying to bash him or anything but this does make him look really pthetic.
I guess the man cant take a hint.

MrBamSeydu writes:

As if paying Fulmer 6 million over the next 4 years isn't enough, you're paying him a teachers yearly salary EACH MONTH to be the "Assitant to the President".

Here's a good question: Was there an Assistant to the President prior to Fulmer? Or did they just make up that job title for him?

Dr. Peterson should get the boot along with Fulmer. His wife is crazy anyway.

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

What kind of lectures, maybe we ought to cut some of the complainers across the board. And the blow hards that teach American is a bad country too, while we are at it. And those who use their tenure as a sounding board to get out of Iraq, promote gay marriage, and legalize pot. We've had it made in this country for a long long time, and now is a major cutting back program, and people caught in the squeeze don't like it. These people want handouts, Fulmer promotes the University like none other. He can bring money and people , good thoughts and good will to our University. A lot of people with the fairness doctrine's don't care . Stand up to them across the board and hold them accountable. Look what got us to this point? God speaks to the nations through the economy. Not through fairness and political correctness. Measure the measures correctly, measuring the balances correctly.

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

Plus a lot of people can take payroll deductions also to help. You know like making less money across the board. And cutting a whole lot of pork barrell spending. (Stuff the liberals are used to getting, if this weren't true while was the gov of Ill raffling off one of OUR senate seats?)

southernson writes:

How about use the $12,500 a month and let the commaon workers put there heater back under there desk??? And put the lights back in the vending machines??

alfrizzle097 writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

As if paying Fulmer 6 million over the next 4 years isn't enough, you're paying him a teachers yearly salary EACH MONTH to be the "Assitant to the President".

Here's a good question: Was there an Assistant to the President prior to Fulmer? Or did they just make up that job title for him?

Dr. Peterson should get the boot along with Fulmer. His wife is crazy anyway.

I really doubt the teachers are making $12k a year. The other thing is that this is not just a hiring for appearances. I guarantee you that the returns over the next three months will far exceed his salary. Throw in how much money he has donated to the university over the years and I'm hard pressed to complain.

The fact is that the university has many high cost programs with few students. I am majoring in physics and the physics program is looking at a reduction in low enrollment courses including the ones I need to take. Does that make me bitter? No. Why? It has nothing to do with Fulmer. It comes down to the fact that the university is supplying many courses that there is no/little demand for.

It woul be nice if they continue offering them, but I'm not going to blame Fulmer for the firing of people who can't, due to educational market conditions, justify their positions with returns.

TommyJack writes:

in response to alfrizzle097:

I really doubt the teachers are making $12k a year. The other thing is that this is not just a hiring for appearances. I guarantee you that the returns over the next three months will far exceed his salary. Throw in how much money he has donated to the university over the years and I'm hard pressed to complain.

The fact is that the university has many high cost programs with few students. I am majoring in physics and the physics program is looking at a reduction in low enrollment courses including the ones I need to take. Does that make me bitter? No. Why? It has nothing to do with Fulmer. It comes down to the fact that the university is supplying many courses that there is no/little demand for.

It woul be nice if they continue offering them, but I'm not going to blame Fulmer for the firing of people who can't, due to educational market conditions, justify their positions with returns.

Look it. This "bad economic times" bidness is not just talk. Peoples lives are being affected. The university is talking cutbacks on labs, T/A's, courses, etc. This isn't made up stuff. My point is, the Great Fulmer $37,500 Caper just doesn't play well.
Bad timing. And don't give me the COBRA insurance bidness. I think he could find funds for that out of the $125k per month. This is a poorly thought out idea.
I'm sure you all agree.

nicavol writes:

Hey I thought if Tennesseans approved the lottery everything would be coming up roses? LOL

nicavol writes:

Everybody just needs to go buy 5 packs of cigarettes, 2 cases of beer, bottle of liquor, fill your tank with gas, 3 lottery tickets and stay overnight in a Tenn hotel! If we all pitch in and buy these highly taxed items our professors can continue to be paid their high salaries while teaching one or two classes a week. Plus our state can use our money to better than we can. Fulmer is the least of our problem! WE need DL!!!!

blhvols#536551 writes:

After getting 6 mil, he should have done this for nothing, if he bleeds orange the way he says he does. Petereon and Hamilton should have made this a part of the buyout!!!!!!!!!!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Whats the over/under on Petersen's length of remaining service? Will he outlast Phil's sweetheart 90 days?

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

peterson can't control his wife , maybe she and phil share secrets .

tnbigg writes:

Nobody on this board better call in sick today...as for the info contained herein...insane...Fulmer reveals his true persona more and more each day...he trumps the few remaining who claim him "honorable"..."devoted"..."team player"..."Tennessee through and through"...the disgraceful truth..."divisive"..."self centered"..."greedy"..."dishonorable"...say what you want...but in defending him you only reveal your own blind support for the an illusion that you created in your own mind...and you reveal your own arrogance toward Tennessee...some even seem to enjoy Fulmer and his big buck donors making Tennessee laughable on a National scale...first it was just the football program they destroyed and made the butt of every joke Nationally...now its been expanded to include the President (of course his foul mouthed wife paved that path ahead of this debacle)..."On a hallowed in Tennessee...like beacon shining bright..."

jdcvols#230433 writes:

in response to nicavol:

Everybody just needs to go buy 5 packs of cigarettes, 2 cases of beer, bottle of liquor, fill your tank with gas, 3 lottery tickets and stay overnight in a Tenn hotel! If we all pitch in and buy these highly taxed items our professors can continue to be paid their high salaries while teaching one or two classes a week. Plus our state can use our money to better than we can. Fulmer is the least of our problem! WE need DL!!!!

Touchdown Tennesee and I did that at every home game (no cigarettes though) and look at what it got us!! Nothing.

ncvol17 writes:

in response to nicavol:

Hey I thought if Tennesseans approved the lottery everything would be coming up roses? LOL

Don't BET on it..LOL

rllipscomb#212376 writes:

Paying Phil Fulmer $150K per year to solicit contributions to the university is the best investment available to anyone in the State of Tennessee. I'll bet my next paycheck that Fulmer can turn a 10:1 return on investment in his first month. If you have a better deal, let me know so I can get in on it.

P.S. The professors at UT need to get a grip on where their money comes from - the state legislature. One of the main reasons the legislature gives primacy to UT (versus the other state schools) is the popularity of UT sports. And Fulmer has been the lead dog for that for 17 years.

eduardo writes:

idiots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

FIRE PETERSON , HE MUST BE A IDIOT .PETERSONS WIFE , PETERSON AND FULMER . WHAT DO THEY HAVE IN COMMON ? STUPIDITY

jasonn1970 writes:

I don't see how anyone could complain about this. Fulmer will raise a fortune that the university desperately needs.

Couchdummy writes:

Absurd! What was Peterson thinking about when he dredged up this idea? Isn't a university president expected to consider public perception in his decision making? This was an arrogant move, giving little regard to public perception! I say this in spite of the fact that the funding supposedly comes from "private funding." I can't help but ask myself, "What would Andy Holt have done?" This carpetbagging university president needs to be shown the door!

FWBVol writes:

As I stated last night, I have no inside knowledge concerning this deal. I can only guess as to why the job was offered.

Yes, I believe Phillip Fulmer can raise big dollars for the university. I also understand many of the concerns people have expressed.

But as I asked last night, what if some high dollar donor was going to give UT a huge amount of money, but would only do so with the stipulation that Fulmer be hired in some capacity? And what if the $37,500 was included in his or her donation with the stipulation that it was an annonymous gift?

If you were John Petersen what would you do?

And by the way, I am a UT grad and I make less than the $37,500 annually, but that's because I chose to go into a lower-paying profession.

A lot of people are expressing concern, and rightfully so, about the position. But until we know all the facts we can't have an informed opinion.

rllipscomb#212376 writes:

Fulmer is one of the best salesmen ever, as evidenced by his reputation as a recruiter. I think it is less that a donor is demanding Fulmer getting a job and more of an issue of getting a "closer" in fundraising. Fulmer knows how to close a deal.

hdav06#387651 writes:

What this proves to me is that professors need to remain professors and stay out of "business" because they don't have a clue. For smart people they are showing their ignorance. There were as many donors to UT who were very upset by Fulmer's release as those who encouraged it. As Hamilton said at the time of his release it was about future financials (translation a huge donor wanted Fulmer gone). This 3 month job gives the University a chance to recoup other money they might have lost from the die-hard Fulmer fans. Business is business.

JWilly writes:

Believe it or not, adjunct Instructor "salaries" at UTK are likely less than $12K per year.

FWBVol writes:

in response to RobtheVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Rob, I said I make less than $37,500 a year, not a month. And the company I work for hasn't given raises in two years. I'm just glad gas prices are going down.

rabidvol1998 writes:

Ironic that professors who get tenure are complaining. If tenure applied to football coaches, Phil would have lifetime employment.

shoalcreekvol writes:

in response to xvolx:

fulmer know something on peterson's wife.

We all know something on his wife. It was on GVX.

And make no mistake, Fulmer's "job" is to help the President repair relationships with key donors that pulled back b/c of Mrs. Petersen. I wouldn't doubt that the $37500 is coming from the Petersens as part of the "plan" they had to submit to the Board.

We fired Buzz a long time ago, now it's time to run off his Mommy and Daddy.

hallsguy writes:

They need to fire Hamilton and give Fulmer his job.Fulmer can raise far more money than Mikey ever dreamed and that is the major aspect of AD job.
Having Fulmer raising money for the academic side is a no-brainer.They've got people in the fund raising dept making more than Phil would be getting.
The professors need to learn that they are totally dependent on the legislature for money.The athletic department is not.When the professors figure that one out,they will be better off.

shoalcreekvol writes:

in response to allVolinGA:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DEAD ON. From a marketing and school promotion perspective, all of this couldn't have been handled more poorly. Consider the timing:

1) Fulmer refuses to negotiate a longer timeframe for the $6m - couldn't even agree to take $100K per month for more months instead of $125K a month for 48. The longer timeframe would've allowed the university to use some of the private buyout funds for other purposes or at least draw more interest off it to help the university that Fulmer loves.

2) Petersen immediately announces Fulmer's hiring at an inflated salary to be paid in addition to the buyout. He doesn't do a good job at all of selling the hire as a positive step to help the school through the financial crisis, and Fulmer comes off as a greedy control freak who wants to hover over the UTAD. Fulmer also now outranks the man who just recently fired him - the same man that he has publicly criticized ever since.

3) Petersen again immediately announces hiring freezes, expense cuts and job cuts while declaring the horrible financial crisis that the school is facing. He ignores the outcry of the faculty and staff.

Considering UT has a school president who is this inept at PR and marketing the school, and has a wife with the public issues that Mrs. Petersen has, then it is time for the board to act. They can not allow him to fail this miserably in an area that is a key part of his job. As long as they don't act, the UT administration, staff, donors and students will be just as divided as the fanbase was when Fulmer was fired.

xvolx writes:

in response to shoalcreekvol:

We all know something on his wife. It was on GVX.

And make no mistake, Fulmer's "job" is to help the President repair relationships with key donors that pulled back b/c of Mrs. Petersen. I wouldn't doubt that the $37500 is coming from the Petersens as part of the "plan" they had to submit to the Board.

We fired Buzz a long time ago, now it's time to run off his Mommy and Daddy.

agree, but you would have to know something not been in the press to get a deal like this.

shoalcreekvol writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Look it. This "bad economic times" bidness is not just talk. Peoples lives are being affected. The university is talking cutbacks on labs, T/A's, courses, etc. This isn't made up stuff. My point is, the Great Fulmer $37,500 Caper just doesn't play well.
Bad timing. And don't give me the COBRA insurance bidness. I think he could find funds for that out of the $125k per month. This is a poorly thought out idea.
I'm sure you all agree.

COBRA insurance should run him around $600-750 a month at most. He can buy a family policy through third-party providers for about the same amount, possibly $100 higher.

He is now raking in $137,250 a month.

That leaves him a little over $136,000 per month to get by on.

Anyone who raises the health insurance issue needs a math lesson. An elementary math lesson at that.

NorCalVol writes:

in response to nicavol:

Everybody just needs to go buy 5 packs of cigarettes, 2 cases of beer, bottle of liquor, fill your tank with gas, 3 lottery tickets and stay overnight in a Tenn hotel! If we all pitch in and buy these highly taxed items our professors can continue to be paid their high salaries while teaching one or two classes a week. Plus our state can use our money to better than we can. Fulmer is the least of our problem! WE need DL!!!!

Professors get high salaries while teaching one or two classes a week? Obviously you don't have a clue.

Compare their salaries to those of other people with terminal degrees (doctors and lawyers for example). As for their time commitment, much more time goes into preparing for class, grading, and office hours that you're not thinking about. They're also expected to churn out major research results, write grants, serve on committees, etc.

If you want your kids to get a decent education from knowledgeable experts, you better cut these guys some slack. UT's academic ranking has been falling for the past few years and people like you aren't helping!

shoalcreekvol writes:

in response to rabidvol1998:

Ironic that professors who get tenure are complaining. If tenure applied to football coaches, Phil would have lifetime employment.

What, so far, has proven that he doesn't have lifetime employment? When has he actually been unemployed?

Do you really think that he won't get another sweetheart deal in February if he isn't offered a coaching job somewhere? February is not a coincidence. That is when the NFL assistant jobs will be filling up.

When he is actually unemployed for even a moment, then the tenure argument will apply.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to hallsguy:

They need to fire Hamilton and give Fulmer his job.Fulmer can raise far more money than Mikey ever dreamed and that is the major aspect of AD job.
Having Fulmer raising money for the academic side is a no-brainer.They've got people in the fund raising dept making more than Phil would be getting.
The professors need to learn that they are totally dependent on the legislature for money.The athletic department is not.When the professors figure that one out,they will be better off.

Fulmer was fired as football coach at UT, and should stay away from UT athletics. period, except to watch games just like the rest of us. If he were AD, our football program would be a joke. he would hire his buddies and we would be back in the shi**er

ClayMolder (Inactive) writes:

who in the world would give to the U simply because phil-er-up is asking for a donation? maybe he can help by going out and scraping up 1.5/yr for 4 years. the donors were ready to drop the hammer on giving if he stayed around and now, paying his phat arse, he's STILL around. peterson is stupid and fulmer is greedy. if he loved his school he would have done this job gratis.

Colliervol writes:

in response to WeLoveTennesseeVols:

What kind of lectures, maybe we ought to cut some of the complainers across the board. And the blow hards that teach American is a bad country too, while we are at it. And those who use their tenure as a sounding board to get out of Iraq, promote gay marriage, and legalize pot. We've had it made in this country for a long long time, and now is a major cutting back program, and people caught in the squeeze don't like it. These people want handouts, Fulmer promotes the University like none other. He can bring money and people , good thoughts and good will to our University. A lot of people with the fairness doctrine's don't care . Stand up to them across the board and hold them accountable. Look what got us to this point? God speaks to the nations through the economy. Not through fairness and political correctness. Measure the measures correctly, measuring the balances correctly.

Have you not figured out by now that once we see your name, nobody is bothering to read your posts anymore? Even if I read them, I wouldn't have a clue what you said.

Colliervol writes:

I am a bit surprised that, given the climate at UT, that they would pay this 3 month "deal". That is a P.R. nightmare for the administration. Seems to me that something a bit lower could have been negotiated in light of the buy-out that is being paid monthly.

TommyJack writes:

in response to rllipscomb#212376:

Fulmer is one of the best salesmen ever, as evidenced by his reputation as a recruiter. I think it is less that a donor is demanding Fulmer getting a job and more of an issue of getting a "closer" in fundraising. Fulmer knows how to close a deal.

I'll say. He's "sold" the Fulmerites for years. He just says "open the throat and swallow the goat"...and they do. Still.

GreerVol22 writes:

academics be danged! You will soon see a big turn around in our vending machine sales on campus. That's how we make up the shortfall.

golfballs03 writes:

Fulmer is a nightmare that just won't go away!

Volumnus writes:

If Phil isn't a coach, the only other thing he could possibly help the univeristy as would be an in house Parole Officer!
He has plenty of experience at that!

shoalcreekvol writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That is quite possibly the dumbest post I've ever read on this site. And that's saying something.

Fulmer is already 100% vested in the State of TN retirement system. And he's already a multimillionaire. The buyout is spread over 48 months, at which time he'll be 62 and if he's as destitute as you think he'll be, he can begin drawing then. Somehow I think he'll be able to get by the other 3 years until he can draw his full pension, which he'll probably use for Cheetos since he's so stinkin' rich without it.

Geez, the Fulmer-lovers' attempt at rationalizing this based on health insurance or retirement keeps getting dumber and dumber.

TommyJack writes:

in response to WeLoveTennesseeVols:

What kind of lectures, maybe we ought to cut some of the complainers across the board. And the blow hards that teach American is a bad country too, while we are at it. And those who use their tenure as a sounding board to get out of Iraq, promote gay marriage, and legalize pot. We've had it made in this country for a long long time, and now is a major cutting back program, and people caught in the squeeze don't like it. These people want handouts, Fulmer promotes the University like none other. He can bring money and people , good thoughts and good will to our University. A lot of people with the fairness doctrine's don't care . Stand up to them across the board and hold them accountable. Look what got us to this point? God speaks to the nations through the economy. Not through fairness and political correctness. Measure the measures correctly, measuring the balances correctly.

"Measure the measures correctly, measuring the balances correctly".
Not sure what you said, We, but it has a nice flow to it.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

"Measure the measures correctly, measuring the balances correctly".
Not sure what you said, We, but it has a nice flow to it.

That doesn't have anything to do with the little scales the constabulary sometimes finds in a Buick's trunk, does it?

junder13 writes:

in response to WeLoveTennesseeVols:

What kind of lectures, maybe we ought to cut some of the complainers across the board. And the blow hards that teach American is a bad country too, while we are at it. And those who use their tenure as a sounding board to get out of Iraq, promote gay marriage, and legalize pot. We've had it made in this country for a long long time, and now is a major cutting back program, and people caught in the squeeze don't like it. These people want handouts, Fulmer promotes the University like none other. He can bring money and people , good thoughts and good will to our University. A lot of people with the fairness doctrine's don't care . Stand up to them across the board and hold them accountable. Look what got us to this point? God speaks to the nations through the economy. Not through fairness and political correctness. Measure the measures correctly, measuring the balances correctly.

Every time I waste my time reading your worthless, ignorant dribble, I am shocked to find that you somehow, in extraordinary fashion, find a way to top the stupidity in your previous post (shocking, I know). There really is no end to the depths of your close-minded, misguided, ill-conceived statements.

Your statements about God and your faith reflects poorly on Christianity and I am tired of it. How on earth is the economy a reflection of how God feels toward a nation? Did the Roman Empire not experience its fall less than a century after Christianity became its official religion? The Bible states numerous times that a man's possessions (in this case, a nation's possessions) are not a reflection of his eternal destination. In fact, several parables in the New Testament point toward the opposite conclusion. "...harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle" comes to mind. In short, economic prosperity has no reflection on how God feels toward a nation. His "rewards" are not the same as what man considers a "reward" (fame, fortune, beautiful spouse, etc).

If you must continue posting your ignorance, please do not reveal your faith. I am a Christian and I do not want to be associated with someone like you. I do not know anything about where you stand except that you misrepresent the Bible and the faith you reference time and time again, and it looks bad. While we're on that, why not try and remember to "hate the sin and love the sinner". Quit bashing homosexuals. Was it not Jesus himself who dined with sinners? Why? Because he loved them and he always ministered to them while making it clear they were disobeying his commandments. Nevertheless, he loved them and counseled them.

Quit bashing liberals--who are every bit as American as you, despite what you think. Quit bashing those who do not share your opinions (such as your love for Fulmer).

And most importantly, QUIT bringing God into the equation, as you clearly misrepresent his teachings! Your comments reflect more a New Testament Pharisee (whom Jesus referred to as serpents) than a disciple. I only hope you recognize this and change it, as I hope your heart does not also reflect this. Regardless, you make Tennessee fans and Southerns, no less, look bad!

junder13 writes:

Welove, I shouldn't have been so harsh. Don't point out the speck in your brother's eye with a plank in your own...so the Bible says. I just ask that if you must post such close-minded and hateful things (about gays, liberals, just about anyone), than don't bring God into the equation. That's all I ask. That's it. I've read numerous posts from you hating on Obama and basically sounding like a dumber version of Sarah Palin, and I haven't said a word. But when you bring God into the equation you reinforce a growing perception of, "Oh no, there's one of those crazy, far-right Bible thumpers". For those who are not Christian--and that would be a much larger number of ppl in this country than assumed--it makes Christianity look bad. I am no Billy Graham, but I certainly don't go around trying to cram my faith down someone's throat. No one on this board responds positively to your posts. There's a reason for that. Now please stop bringing God into the equation b/c despite the worsening reputation of Southern Protestants, there are several Christians who are rational and do not condemn nor condone behavior and actions that counter Biblical teaching. That's all I'm asking bro. If you're gonna bash ppl and continue making yourself look intolerant and close-minded (along with ignorant, I hestitantly add), than please do not drag Christ's name into the conversation, because he was the most radical, life-changing, philosophy-breaking, extraordinary teacher to ever live and your opinions do not represent His or even agree with them. I do not want His name associated with yours for those who do not know better!

Bufforange00 writes:

in response to NorCalVol:

Professors get high salaries while teaching one or two classes a week? Obviously you don't have a clue.

Compare their salaries to those of other people with terminal degrees (doctors and lawyers for example). As for their time commitment, much more time goes into preparing for class, grading, and office hours that you're not thinking about. They're also expected to churn out major research results, write grants, serve on committees, etc.

If you want your kids to get a decent education from knowledgeable experts, you better cut these guys some slack. UT's academic ranking has been falling for the past few years and people like you aren't helping!

Your view on this is not very sophisticated. Yes professors don't get paid the same as other professionals, but they also don't produce anything. Their lessons often are theoretical in nature and have little value in practical application. There is little or no accountability, as performance is purely subjective. Student TAs often do their grading and their lesson plans are repackaged over and over. The only professors worth anything are those that produce through research. Getting established (school, tenure) is the tough part, but once you've climbed that rock, it is a breeze. Getting grants can be tricky, but once you have your network, you have all the leverage you will ever need.

----Also, I doubt these message boards have much to do with UT's academic ranking.

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