Pomona College to increase wages for visiting professors

A collage of a neon dollar bill superimposed over a black-and-white image of a professor teaching.
(Clare Martin • The Student Life)

Pomona College has announced its plans to increase the base salaries of visiting professors in the upcoming 2023-2024 fiscal year.

The decision comes after new research findings from Pomona’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, Yuqing Melanie Wu and Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer Jeff Roth, that indicate a disparity in salary increases among visiting and tenure-track professors. 

We conducted research and found that the vast majority of visiting faculty salaries did not increase at rates comparable to those of tenure-track faculty in the last eight years,” Wu said to TSL via email.

To address this inconsistency, Pomona will begin by increasing the base salaries of visiting professors.

 “[In the future,] full-time visitor and one-course visitor starting salaries will increase at a rate that is similar to tenure-track faculty,” Wu said. 

To Wu, this change is a necessary part of supporting Pomona’s “academic mission.” 

Wu briefed faculty about this decision at a faculty meeting at the end of the Fall 2022 semester. However, official approval of the proposed salary increases will not come until the spring. 

In order to increase staff salaries, the proposed increases must be worked into the annual budget. The budget process begins in November and is eventually sent to the Board of Trustees (BOT) in May for approval. 

Wu stated that “building the budget involves all campus units,” but that ultimately Roth is responsible for recommending a proposed budget to the BOT. 

Although this conversation follows Pomona’s recent decision to increase wages for dining hall staff, Wu contended that there was no relation.

“There is no connection between the union agreement and faculty salary scales or increases,” Wu said.

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