The success of Princeton University’s grade deflation has prompted the University’s Board of Trustees to implement a similar policy in order to curb rising faculty and administrator salaries, under which only the top 35% of faculty and administrators will receive their paychecks at the end of the month.
“By only allowing the 35% highest ranked faculty and administrators to be paid, only those demonstrating truly exceptional achievements as judged by student course evaluations will be compensated,” said the University in a statement. “This action will give salaries back their intended value.”
“The 35% is really more of a guideline than a set standard,” explained University spokesperson Cass Cliatt. “If all professors produce paycheck-quality work, then they all be paid. But really, only 35% will be paid.”
“We hope this policy will foster a competitive—sorry, ‘collaborative’—atmosphere that will give faculty as many chances to sabotage their peers—sorry, ‘succeed’—as possible,” said Cliatt.
Not all voiced support for the policy, however. “[Pay deflation] will not only increase stress and competition among co-workers, but will also discourage faculty from venturing outside their areas of expertise to teach those subjects known to be notoriously difficult” said Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel.
Responded the University, “Fellow Universities have expressed interest in adopting similar policies”. However when asked to specify which universities had expressed interest, or whether the University simply made the statement up, the response was a simple “We are not in a position to disclose such information”.
Some professors seem to be in favor of the new policy. Head of the Chinese Language Program, Professor Ling Chou, who placed well into the top 35%, suggested reducing the regulation to 25% while adding two extra workdays a week.
Former Enron adviser Paul Krugman, who did receive a paycheck, suggested the policy would work best if “only the lowest 35% are paid instead”.