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College Salaries

November 09, 1986

I am not in the habit of writing rebuttals to letters to the editor, but the remarks of Garland Peed (Nov. 2) cannot go unchallenged. The very tone of his letter is indicative of his attitude toward faculty--one of vindictiveness and superiority--that spurred us on to do all we can to seek the replacement of two trustees during the recent election.

In his letter, he made salaries an issue. Here are the facts: No community college in the State of California prints a salary schedule listing total earnings of instructors. The schedules list salaries for a full-time teaching load for the state-mandated school year of 180 teaching days. Individual instructors may, if they wish, teach overtime--for example, two evenings a week, or a summer session--but that is always in addition to the full-time position of instructor.

One of my younger colleagues in the biology department at City College works at three part-time jobs in addition to his full-time one. He teaches in the evening and in both summer sessions. He is one that Peed cites as earning in the $50,000-per-year-plus category.

Now, at my age (57), I feel that I can only do justice to a single full-time job. However, in the past, when my family was young and my mortgage payments were high, I too worked part-time jobs. I am currently at the very top of the San Diego Community College District salary schedule. I have worked for the district for 30 years, had 10 years plus 11 summer sessions of college work, and have M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. My salary is $39,560 per year.

Regardless of how the facts of salary might be presented, the faculty of the San Diego Community Colleges ranks in the bottom 10% of the state's community colleges, and Mr. Peed, his fellow administrators and his board of trustees rank in the top 10%. I should add that the San Diego district is the second largest in the state.

DON K. WEMPLE

Department of Life Sciences

San Diego City College

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