The cost of doing business

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When Dale Krueger was hired as an assistant professor in the business department in 1984, President Ronald Reagan was about to be elected to a second term and Prince’s Purple Rain was the number one album in the country. Now, 32 years later, he is the longest-serving faculty member in the Craig School of Business, and the lowest paid associate professor. In spite of that longevity, four teachers in CSB make about $35,000 more than Krueger-over $100,000-including a new assistant professor hired just last year.

According to Krueger, when Western became AACSB accredited, the administration stopped hiring people without business doctorates, and began to hire at higher wages in order to remain competitive with other accredited universities.

The cost of doing business

The CSB currently has 19 faculty members ranked instructor, assistant professor, associate professor or professor. Out of these, only five remain from before the push for the AACSB accreditation in 2007.

The 14 hired during or after the decision to seek accreditation were hired at considerably higher salaries than their counterparts. For example, three assistant professors hired last August are already making $80,000 or more, according to data provided by the CSB following a Griffon News open record request:

  • Jeremy Logan Jones, Management Assistant Professor- $80,000
  • Hillary Mellema, Marketing Assistant Professor- $82,000
  • Kirill Yurov,Management Assistant Professor- $92,000

Those salaries are approaching double the approximately $48,000 starting salary of assistant professors in many other departments, according to Missouri Blue Book record.

While the salaries of the business department are high compared to to those in other departments, they are actually low compared to national figures.

The top-paid faculty member in the CSB is Management Professor Mark Lewis, who was hired in August of 2005, before the push for the accreditation.

Lewis is paid $106, 034.70 a year, and is closely followed by Accounting Assistant Professor Sunil Dahanayake and Information Systems and Marketing Professor Peggy Lane, both of whom were hired in 2014 and earn $105,060 annually.

The university has also hired a new associate professor to start teaching next semester for $90,000 annually.

Dean of the CSB Michael Lane said that it is necessary to hire top-notch faculty members in order to show that Western school means business, so to speak.

“It makes companies comfortable with the quality of graduates that they’re getting. They know we have standards, they know that our faculty maintain their standards,” Lane said.

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jeanne Daffron explained that it is worth it to hire more expensive faculty members in order to meet the accreditation requirements.

“If we’re going to have a program, we want it to be a high-quality program,” Daffron said. “So, you know, you have to divert the resources that are necessary for that.”

While personnel are funded through the general operating budget, the CSB does require each of its students to pay a $35 per credit hour fee. That fee is more than twice the $17.65 paid for humanities courses. But, the total cost per credit hour-$232.79 vs. $215.44-is only 8 percent higher for business students.

Daffron also explained that the market for AACSB accredited-level hiring is a competitive one.

“In order to get the credentials that you need for the quality program, the market is going to drive the price up,” Daffron said.

How we stack up on the national market

Lane said that Western hires on the low end of the spectrum.

“We’re hiring very low on the national scale, and we recruit nationally,” Lane said.

The majority of CSB faculty members make between the 10th and 25th percentile in their discipline, according to a study conducted by AACSB.  However, Lane said that some faculty members who were hired before the accreditation are “way below the market.”

For example,Behavioral Science Professor Brett Luthans, who was hired in August of 1996, is making $79,538.89 a year. Not only is that figure well below his brand-new colleagues, it is less than half the national median salary for full professors in his discipline: $168,900

Krueger’s $69, 842 salary falls below the 10th percentile and is well below the $129,000 median salary for associate professors in accounting. Similarly, Konrad Gunderson, also an associate professor in accounting, is well below the median at $73, 351. In comparison, Sunil Dahanayake, a new Ph.D. hired last fall—14 years after Gunderson—started as an assistant professor making $105, 060. While that number may seem eye-popping here at Missouri Western, it is still well below The median assistant professor salary for accounting of $139,900. Ironically, the national median salary for assistant professors is higher than full professors ($139,700), something that is unheard of in other departments.

Lane explained that quality hires tend to only seek schools who have AACSB accreditation.

“Candidates don’t necessarily segregate by public-private, they do tend to segregate by AACSB accredited and non-AACSB accredited,” Lane said.

Daffron explained that the university needs those qualified candidates inorder to keep their accreditation.

“AACSB looks very strongly at faculty credentials,” Daffron said. “It’s really not a meeting minimum standards kind of accreditation it’s more of a higher education kind of accreditation.”

In addition to higher salaries, those hired at an AACSB accredited university are expected to do additional research and publish articles in order to maintain the university’s accreditation, which means less hours spent with students.

Doing their research

All faculty members in the CSB are given one less class per semester than a typical teaching professor in order to spend time conducting research to publish journal articles or present at conferences, according to Lane.

“They have to maintain our requirements for scholarly/academic and that is either three journal articles, or two journal articles plus two other things like presentations at conferences and those kind of things,” Lane said.

Lane explained that CSB professors have a heavier teaching load than most comparable universities, stating that many schools give their business professors at least two fewer classes.

Additionally, Lane said that the requirements set by the CSB for their faculty members must be reported to the AACSB and met in order to keep the school’s accreditation .

Accreditation affirmation 

According to the revised 2016 standards for AACSB, a school must be reevaluated every five years in order to keep their accreditation.

The standards state that “the school must develop appropriate criteria consistent with its mission for the classification of faculty according to initial academic preparation, professional experience, ongoing scholarship, and ongoing professional engagement.”

The requirements set forth by the CSB must be met by each reevaluation period in order for the school to be reaccredited.

Western first received AACSB accreditation in 2010, and was reevaluated last year. This semester, it was announced that the university had maintained its accreditation.

Turnover

The CSB has maintained a faculty of about 19 professors since it was founded in 2008.  However, since 2012, 11 faculty members have resigned from the school.

While some have retired, Daffron said that others have left to be close to family.

She also said that the level of turnover in the CSB may not be typical of other departments, and that this is due to the competitive job market.

“It’s probably higher in business. Some of it is because there’s a lot of opportunity, the supply is not great,” Daffron said.

Another additional factor is that professors would rather publish more instead of spending time in the classroom.

“Here we have a really strong focus on teaching,” Daffron said. “Some people really want an opportunity to have more of their day or week spent doing research.”

However, Daffron does not believe that the number of resigning professors is a serious problem, and she doesn’t believe that Lane is worried.

“Those are not easy positions to fill, but I don’t think he’s concerned that people are leaving, you know, in numbers that overwhelmingly concern him at all,” Daffron said.

Dahanayake and Selcuk Ertekin will be resigning at the end of this semester,and they won’t be the only one’s leaving.

Krueger will be retiring on Jan. 1, after working past typical retirement in order to secure his future.  The 78-year-old associate professor said that he felt “blessed” to have worked at Western, but originally stayed despite having his doctoral degree in education administration not recognized by the CSB because his children were in high school here and his wife was a student at Western.

He said the other people in the department that make less than the newer hires are in a similar situation.

“They have a choice, like I do, but, because of family circumstances, most of these people do not want to leave for a variety of reasons,” Krueger said.