Professors should be paid more than celebrities, because they express passionate dedication to further their students’ educations, unlike celebrities who selfishly live through the entertainment industry.
Society elevates famous stars through their obsessions with the media, but society puts more value on celebrities than they are worth. According to ABC News, Oprah Winfrey earned over $260 million in one year and after winning the Super Bowl, Eli Manning received an 11.5 million dollar check. ENews also confirmed that Alana Thompson, most famously known as Honey Boo Boo, was awarded $50,000 per episode. Last but not least, Forbes magazine released that within a span of 12 months, Kim Kardashian, herself, obtained $28 million.
Comparing celebrities’ salaries to APSU’s professors, one can see the immense difference in pay discrepancy. As reported by the Tennessee Board of Regents, the average salary of an APSU professor is around $60,000. The highest paying professor earns $105,747 annually while the lowest receives $25,000.
APSU categorizes their educators as three different types: assistant professor, associate professor, and a “full” professor. A professor’s pay depends on what type he or she is—highest paid being the full professor—the amount of years one has taught at APSU and what department of studies the professor is in.
“It often feels like society values entertainment more than education, which can be discouraging,” said sociology professor William Brooks. The reason why celebrities are paid more is because, in today’s culture, society highlights that how famous a person is in the media is more important than educating students.
Communications professor, Robert Baron, explains that Kim Kardashian is rich because the public is obsessed with her life. “I think this is all about what our larger society values,” said Baron. “I’m also a public figure, the scale is just different. The work that I, and my colleagues do is important but not always exciting.”
The time, money and devotion professors put forth is far greater than auditioning for the lead role in a hit television show. “Most of society doesn’t understand how brutally difficult it is to enter and succeed in higher education,” said history professor, David Rands. “Those of us in higher education are not paid enough.”
To become a professor, typically, one will go through four years of undergraduate studies, two years of graduate school and two or more years of school for a doctorate degree. With countless years of studying and expanding one’s knowledge, it is a true accomplishment to become a professor.
Not only are the years acquired by educators a significant hardship, but the cost of the academic route can sometimes be overwhelming. With over eight years of schooling, tuition bills become one massive pile of debt. If a professor were to have a celebrity’s salary, he or she would be able to pay off their large amount of student loans in one year; however, with the lower paying job, the process of decreasing this debt is a long one.
Also, APSU’s professors go above and beyond to help their students achieve their greatest potential. Their passionate love for teaching and watching students advance in their knowledge is what keeps the professors in their occupation. When asked whether they would rather be a celebrity, who makes millions, or a professor, all three professors responded that they enjoy their life as it is, even with the lower pay.
“Celebrities may make more money, but can they see the transformation in people’s lives as they learn to think critically and develop ideas that will alter the future of the world?” said Dr. Rands.
Celebrities make millions of dollars annually by being publicly valued. Most of them only care about themselves and live their lives in a selfish manner. Professors, on the other hand, follow along on a time-consuming, costly and rigorous journey. The biggest difference between a celebrity and a professor is the dedication and compassion a professor exhibits to further their student’s success. Consequently, celebrities are valued more than professors, which shows in the pay discrepancy between the two. With all that professors contribute to, they should be paid more than celebrities.