Document Type


Publication Date



I suppose that there is at the present time in most universities discrimination to a limited extent between men holding the same title. In some cases it is based upon length of service; in others, it is made in favor of men who perform extra duties. Sometimes, moreover, special endowments lead to discriminations. And occasionally the salary of a man is fixed above that of his associates in order to retain his services when he has been called at an increased salary by another university. Sometimes, also, special and exceptional circumstances put a man in a different class from that of his associates, although he may have the same title, and his exceptional position is recognized by a difference in salary. This happens not infrequently in professional schools, where a man in accepting a professorship, makes a pecuniary sacrifice, or where his standing is such as to make the securing of his services particularly desirable. Or it may happen that there is a discrimination because some of the men are engaged in outside professional work. In each of the cases mentioned, there is a definite reason for the discrimination which serves as a basis for the fixing of compensation. Although causing undoubtedly some friction and criticism, discriminations like those indicated are not subject to the objections that may be urged against a general policy of discrimination, and their wisdom and propriety are, I think, generally recognized. If we eliminate the cases to which reference has been made, it may be said, I think, to be the general custom in American universities to pay the same salary to men bearing the same title. Should the custom be continued, with the exceptions mentioned, or should there be a general policy of discrimination based upon merit? Or, to put the question differently, should the money value of the services of the university professor be fixed by the arbitrary standard of rank, or should it rather be determined by the same standards by which the value of services of like grade in other fields is determined?