Probably Not. Below I have compiled some numbers from The Chronicle of Higher Education on average faculty salary by rank for other PhD granting institutions all of which except for the University of Southern California are public. I included USC as it is a popular choice for many families in Hawaii.

I made efforts not to include some of the more elite public institutions such as the University of Michigan or University of California at Berkeley so as to make this a more reasonable comparison. The percentiles in this table correspond to all PhD granting institutions.

What we see is that in 2012, UH-Manoa ranked at about the median of all research institutions for all ranks. Compared with the peers in the table, we also see that full professors are paid the lowest. This was also true in 2000.

It is important that we bear in mind that universities compete on a global market. If we wish to have an excellent faculty who can educate and train the future workforce of Hawaii as well as conduct cutting-edge research, the pay structure at the university must be in line with other universities. Otherwise, good faculty will leave which will harm the university and, ultimately, the state.

About the author: Tim Halliday is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Community Voices aims to encourage broad discussion on many topics of community interest. It’s kind of a cross between Letters to the Editor and op-eds. We do not solicit particular items and we rarely turn down submissions. This is your space to talk about important issues or interesting people who are making a difference in our world. Columns generally run about 800 words (yes, they can be shorter or longer) and we need a photo of the author and a bio. We welcome video commentary and other multimedia formats. Send to