Liberals cruising Easy St. in higher ed.

I’ve heard it asked about the ’60s: where did all the hippies go?

To the universities, that’s where. If you can’t change the world in protests (or by blowing up a government building), go into education and change it slowly instead, teaching the young and impressionable.

Oh, and pull down a nice salary at the tax payers expense, too. And did I mention the benefits?

Don’t believe me? Just listen to David Rubinstein, recently retired professor of sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, as he describes the amazing benefits guaranteed to him. For life.

After 34 years of teaching sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I recently retired at age 64 at 80 percent of my pay for life. This calculation was based on a salary spiked by summer teaching, and since I no longer pay into the retirement fund, I now receive significantly more than when I “worked.” But that’s not all: There’s a generous health insurance plan, a guaranteed 3 percent annual cost of living increase, and a few other perquisites. Having overinvested in my retirement annuity, I received a fat refund and—when it rains, it pours—another for unused sick leave. I was also offered the opportunity to teach as an emeritus for three years, receiving $8,000 per course, double the pay for adjuncts, which works out to over $200 an hour. Another going-away present was summer pay, one ninth of my salary, with no teaching obligation.

In case you’re doing the math on the back of an envelope, don’t. Rubinstein estimates that the benefits double his salary. Did I mention that he is, under the Illinois constitution, guaranteed this for life?

What is the incredibly great sacrifice that Rubinstein and his compatriots in academia have performed to earn these benefits?  Benefits that are far and above beyond than those given to the scarred, maimed and injured veterans of America’s wars?

Here’s a few of the sacrifices and duties of the job:

  • An average salary of $108,748 for full professors
  • Six hours of lecture a week, usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Lectures that start at 11 or 12, and are just regurgitation of the lectures of previous years and the result of reading and studying what he enjoys most.
  • Free gym by 4 PM
  • Three months of free time in the summer, a month in December, as well as paid sabbatical every six years
  • Tenure, a world where “fears of unemployment are banished, futures can be confidently planned, and retirement is secure.”
  • Graduate students, “who usually knew little more about the topic than the undergraduates” to correct papers and exams for the professor.

Not too shabby, eh? Who wouldn’t want to work in such an environment? 

The downside? As Rubinstein puts it, “ideological heterodoxy.” You see, “[u]niversities cherish diversity in everything except where it counts most: ideas[,]” ideas which are lopsidedly unbalanced to the political left. 

According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, Harvard, donating 4 to 1 in favor of Democrats in 2008, was one of the more politically diverse major American universities. Ninety-two percent of employees at the University of Chicago donated to Democrats. The University of California favored Democrats over Republicans, 90 percent to 10 percent. And William and Mary employees preferred Democrats to the GOP by a margin of 99 percent to 1 percent. Neil Gross of Harvard found that 87.6 percent of social scientists voted for Kerry, 6.2 percent for Bush. Gross also found that 25 percent of sociologists characterize themselves as Marxists, likely a higher percentage than members of the Chinese Communist party. I would guess that if Lenin were around today he would be teaching sociology and seeking grants to fund the revolution.

Who needs Lenin? We’ve got Bill Ayers— and he’s teaching elementary education.

(The article is “Fat City: Thank you, Illinois tax payers, for my cushy life“)

APROPOS: Just to be fair, check here for a contrasting perspective from someone working on getting their Ph.D right now…

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