Vanderbilt has a $4,000,000,000 endowment. Yet it refuses to pay lecturers what Nashville public school teachers make.
#15 in undergraduate education (US News Ranking), #23 by endowment size in America (Wikipedia), Vanderbilt chooses not to pay lecturers a minimum of $48,600 per year (which a certified, PhD-holding teacher in Metro Nashville schools makes).
Don't tell me it's because they don't have the money.
Forbes estimates Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos's salary at $2,230,000. USA Today estimates Football Head Coach Derek Mason's salary at $2,556,877. Nashville Post estimates former Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs Harry R. Jacobson's 2009 annual salary at $5,280,000. I put the salaries in terms of weeks because it makes the numbers manageable. These amounts of money don't make sense otherwise.
Zeppos's salary alone is equivalent to 37 employees who make $60,000 per year (the mean salary for a junior philosophy professor). At some point, you have to ask whether an administrator, of any quality, deserves to make what a small department does.
This isn't about jealousy; it's about justice. If I made that much money, I wouldn't be able to relax knowing people in my community struggled. I could help them with that much money.
It would wreck my conscience to wear tailored suits, park my Audi near Kirkland Hall, and vacation extravagantly with alumni while workers in my community went bankrupt from medical bills.
Vanderbilt is my home. And this home is unhappy because the breadwinners refuse professors appropriate wages, deny all employees a living wage in the booming Nashville, and rest unconcerned with graduate workers who struggle to pay for prescriptions, dental, vision, or dependent care.