On Nov. 4, Dr. Benjamin Goldfrank, president of Seton Hall's advocacy chapter of the American Association of University Professors sent a letter to the editors of the Setonian.
Buildings, bond ratings, and bonuses for executives. These seem to be the priorities of Seton Hall in recent years. If you thought tuition dollars were mostly going towards academics, think again. As of 2020, compared to our peer universities, Seton Hall was last on spending for instruction and research, but first on spending for “institutional support” (comprised of the salaries of upper-level administrators). In 2021, the salaries of Seton Hall professors were 13% lower than the peer group average. Now, with inflation running at nearly 9%, Seton Hall has given faculty only a 3% raise, so we’re falling further behind. Adjunct professors didn’t get a raise at all and are even more underpaid than full-time faculty compared to their peers at nearby universities. Instead of focusing on education, the emphasis for recent administrations at Seton Hall has been on securing good bond ratings in order to borrow money for renovating buildings, and on providing large bonuses to the highest paid members of the executive cabinet. With the Student Center reopening, it is high time for the university to change course and prioritize instruction so that we can continue to hire and retain the high-quality faculty that an academically successful university needs.
We, the Seton Hall AAUP Advocacy Chapter, call on the administration to: 1) address the impact of inflation on faculty compensation immediately with one-time bonuses for the lowest paid faculty most affected by inflation; 2) double adjunct pay now; and 3) start planning next year's budget with a focus on raising faculty wages.
Seton Hall AAUP Advocacy Chapter